Next Article in Journal
Numerical Study on the Shear Stress Characteristics of Open-Channel Flow over Rough Beds
Previous Article in Journal
Population Status and Ecology of the Steno-Endemic Fairy Shrimp Chirocephalus sibyllae Cottarelli and Mura, 1975 Inhabiting a Mountain Temporary Pond (Central Italy)
Previous Article in Special Issue
Derosion Lattice Performance and Optimization in Solving an End Effect Assessed by CFD: A Case Study in Thailand’s Beach
 
 
Article

Drivers of Turbidity and Its Seasonal Variability at Herschel Island Qikiqtaruk (Western Canadian Arctic)

1
Institute of Geosciences, University of Potsdam, 14476 Potsdam, Germany
2
Permafrost Research Section, Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Science, 14473 Potsdam, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current Address: National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO 80401, USA.
Academic Editors: Michele Greco and Giovanni Martino
Water 2022, 14(11), 1751; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14111751
Received: 4 February 2022 / Revised: 16 May 2022 / Accepted: 24 May 2022 / Published: 30 May 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Erosion and Sediment Transport Processes in Coastal Waters)
The Arctic is greatly affected by climate change. Increasing air temperatures drive permafrost thaw and an increase in coastal erosion and river discharge. This results in a greater input of sediment and organic matter into nearshore waters, impacting ecosystems by reducing light transmission through the water column and altering biogeochemistry. This potentially results in impacts on the subsistence economy of local people as well as the climate due to the transformation of suspended organic matter into greenhouse gases. Even though the impacts of increased suspended sediment concentrations and turbidity in the Arctic nearshore zone are well-studied, the mechanisms underpinning this increase are largely unknown. Wave energy and tides drive the level of turbidity in the temperate and tropical parts of the world, and this is generally assumed to also be the case in the Arctic. However, the tidal range is considerably lower in the Arctic, and processes related to the occurrence of permafrost have the potential to greatly contribute to nearshore turbidity. In this study, we use high-resolution satellite imagery alongside in situ and ERA5 reanalysis data of ocean and climate variables in order to identify the drivers of nearshore turbidity, along with its seasonality in the nearshore waters of Herschel Island Qikiqtaruk, in the western Canadian Arctic. Nearshore turbidity correlates well to wind direction, wind speed, significant wave height, and wave period. Nearshore turbidity is superiorly correlated to wind speed at the Beaufort Shelf compared to in situ measurements at Herschel Island Qikiqtaruk, showing that nearshore turbidity, albeit being of limited spatial extent, is influenced by large-scale weather and ocean phenomenons. We show that, in contrast to the temperate and tropical ocean, freshly eroded material is the predominant driver of nearshore turbidity in the Arctic, rather than resuspension, which is caused by the vulnerability of permafrost coasts to thermo-erosion. View Full-Text
Keywords: ocean color remote sensing; Arctic ocean; suspended sediment; Landsat; Sentinel 2; ERA5; nearshore zone ocean color remote sensing; Arctic ocean; suspended sediment; Landsat; Sentinel 2; ERA5; nearshore zone
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Klein, K.P.; Lantuit, H.; Rolph, R.J. Drivers of Turbidity and Its Seasonal Variability at Herschel Island Qikiqtaruk (Western Canadian Arctic). Water 2022, 14, 1751. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14111751

AMA Style

Klein KP, Lantuit H, Rolph RJ. Drivers of Turbidity and Its Seasonal Variability at Herschel Island Qikiqtaruk (Western Canadian Arctic). Water. 2022; 14(11):1751. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14111751

Chicago/Turabian Style

Klein, Konstantin P., Hugues Lantuit, and Rebecca J. Rolph. 2022. "Drivers of Turbidity and Its Seasonal Variability at Herschel Island Qikiqtaruk (Western Canadian Arctic)" Water 14, no. 11: 1751. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14111751

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop