Production of fluorescent dissolved organic matter in Arctic Ocean sediments

Meilian Chen, Ji Hoon Kim, Seung Il Nam, Frank Niessen, Wei Li Hong, Moo Hee Kang, Jin Hur*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Little is known about the production of fluorescent dissolved organic matter (FDOM) in the anoxic oceanic sediments. In this study, sediment pore waters were sampled from four different sites in the Chukchi-East Siberian Seas area to examine the bulk dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and their optical properties. The production of FDOM, coupled with the increase of nutrients, was observed above the sulfate-methane-Transition-zone (SMTZ). The presence of FDOM was concurrent with sulfate reduction and increased alkalinity (R2 > 0.96, p < 0.0001), suggesting a link to organic matter degradation. This inference was supported by the positive correlation (R2 > 0.95, p < 0.0001) between the net production of FDOM and the modeled degradation rates of particulate organic carbon sulfate reduction. The production of FDOM was more pronounced in a shallow shelf site S1 with a total net production ranging from 17.9 to 62.3 RU for different FDOM components above the SMTZ depth of ca. 4.1 mbsf, which presumably underwent more accumulation of particulate organic matter than the other three deeper sites. The sediments were generally found to be the sources of CDOM and FDOM to the overlying water column, unearthing a channel of generally bio-refractory and pre-Aged DOM to the oceans.

Original languageEnglish
Article number39213
JournalScientific Reports
StatePublished - Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes

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