Ion fractionation in young sea ice from Kongsfjorden, Svalbard

Maus, S.; Müller, S.; Büttner, J.; Brütsch, S.; Huthwelker, T.; Schwikowski, M.; Enzmann, F.; Vähätolo, A. (2011). Ion fractionation in young sea ice from Kongsfjorden, Svalbard. Annals of glaciology, 52(57), pp. 301-310. Cambridge: International Glaciological Society 10.3189/172756411795931804

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The fractionation of major sea-water ions, or deviation in their relative concentrations from
Standard Mean Ocean Water ratios, has been frequently observed in sea ice. It is generally thought to
be associated with precipitation of solid salts at certain eutectic temperatures. The variability found
in bulk sea-ice samples indicates that the fractionation of ions depends on the often unknown thermal
history of sea ice, which affects the structure of pore networks and fate of solid salts within them. Here
we investigate the distribution of ions in Arctic sea ice that is a few weeks old with a reconstructible
thermal history. We separate the centrifugable (interconnected) and entrapped (likely disconnected)
contributions to the ice salinity and determine their ion fractionation signatures. The results indicate
that differential diffusion of ions, rather than eutectic precipitation of cryohydrates, has led to significant
ion fractionation. The finding emphasizes the role of coupled diffusive–convective salt transport through
complex pore networks in shaping the biogeochemistry of sea ice.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences (DCBP)

UniBE Contributor:

Schwikowski, Margit




International Glaciological Society




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:27

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:08

Publisher DOI:


Web of Science ID:


URI: (FactScience: 215588)

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