A centennial record of fluvial organic matter input from the discontinuous permafrost catchment of Lake Tornetrsk

Jorien E. Vonk, Vanja Alling, Lars Rahm, Carl Magnus Mrth, Christoph Humborg, Örjan Gustafsson

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

High-latitude regions are underlain by the most organic carbon (OC)-rich soils on earth and currently subject to intense climate warming, potentially increasing remobilization and mineralization of soil OC. Sub-Arctic Scandinavia is located on the 0C mean annual isotherm and is therefore particularly vulnerable to climate change. This study aimed to establish a baseline for soil OC release over the past century into Lake Tornetrsk, the largest lake in sub-Arctic Scandinavia, through bulk geochemical and molecular radiocarbon analyses in chronologically constrained sediment cores. Our results suggest a dominance of peat-derived terrestrial OC inflow. We show that the annual terrestrial OC inflow to the lake is ∼12 times higher than the in-lake produced particulate OC, and consists for a large part (ca. 60%) of old OC from deep reservoirs in the catchment. The sedimentary record shows signs of increasing inflow of more degraded terrestrial matter since ∼1975, as indicated by increasing %TOC concentrations, a lower δ13C value and lower TOC:TN ratios. Based on simultaneous changes in local climate and reported signs of permafrost degradation (e.g., active layer deepening, mire/peat erosion), the observed changes in the sedimentary record of Scandinavia's largest mountain lake likely reflect a climate warming-induced change in terrestrial OC inflow.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberG03018
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Volume117
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2012

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permafrost
Permafrost
Organic carbon
lakes
Catchments
Biological materials
Lakes
soil organic matter
organic carbon
catchment
Scandinavia
organic matter
carbon
lake
inflow
soil organic carbon
global warming
peat
Arctic region
climate

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Vonk, Jorien E. ; Alling, Vanja ; Rahm, Lars ; Mrth, Carl Magnus ; Humborg, Christoph ; Gustafsson, Örjan. / A centennial record of fluvial organic matter input from the discontinuous permafrost catchment of Lake Tornetrsk. In: Journal of Geophysical Research. 2012 ; Vol. 117, No. 3.
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A centennial record of fluvial organic matter input from the discontinuous permafrost catchment of Lake Tornetrsk. / Vonk, Jorien E.; Alling, Vanja; Rahm, Lars; Mrth, Carl Magnus; Humborg, Christoph; Gustafsson, Örjan.

In: Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 117, No. 3, G03018, 01.09.2012.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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