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Pigments in sediments beneath recently collapsed ice shelves: The case of Larsen A and B shelves, Antarctic Peninsula

AuthorsSañé, Elisabet ; Isla, Enrique ; Grémare, Antoine; Gutt, Julian; Vétion, Gilles; DeMaster, D.J.
Antarctic Peninsula
Climate change
Issue DateJan-2011
CitationJournal of Sea Research 65 (1): 94–102 (2011)
AbstractIn March 2002, 3200 km2 of the Larsen B ice shelf collapsed off the Eastern Antarctic Peninsula (EAP). In the austral summer of 2006, sea floor sediment was recovered beneath the extinct Larsen B ice shelf and in a region off the Northern Antarctic Peninsula (NAP), which has been free of ice shelves for more than 1000 yr. To assess changes in the chemical composition of the sediment after ice shelf collapses, chlorophylls and pheophytins were measured in sediment cores at six stations. This is the first time that chlorophyll pigments have been analysed in sediment samples from regions under recently collapsed ice shelves. Five years after the ice shelf collapse, Chla and Chlc concentrations were similar in the interfacial sediment (upper 1 cm) of NAP and EAP regions. However, in EAP Chla and Chlc concentrations decreased more rapidly with depth in the sediment column and were negligible below 2 cm depth. The high Chla to Pheoa ratios indicated that sedimentary pigments found in EAP had undergone limited degradation suggesting that they were locally produced rather than laterally advected. Complementary information from excess 210Pb activity and diatom valve distributions provided further evidence that the pigment fluxes to the seabed in EAP took place only after the ice shelf collapse.
Description9 pages, 6 figures, 6 tables
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.seares.2010.07.005
Appears in Collections:(ICM) Artículos
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