Periodic Reporting for period 3 - THAWSOME (THAWing permafrost: the fate of Soil Organic Matter in the aquatic Environment)
Reporting period: 2019-12-01 to 2021-05-31
Horizontal OC release either occurs via gradual thaw, slowly leaching OC into aquatic systems, or via abrupt thaw, where ground-ice melt causes destructive surface collapse and slumping of OC into aquatic systems. Both types of thaw facilitate decomposition of OC (generating GHG) but also re-bury OC into sediments (sequestering OC). The relative importance of decomposition versus burial is unknown.
In THAWSOME, we will combine a multi-scale approach combining detailed process-based field studies with up-scaling techniques on multiple levels: (i) observational, using large Arctic rivers as natural integrators, (ii) numerical, using a coupled hydrological-biogeochemical model, and (iii) spatial, using GIS-based analysis. Our objectives are to quantify, for the first time, decomposition of particulate OC from permafrost and to assess the fate of permafrost OC in the nearshore zone and the continental shelf.
THAWSOME will generate critically needed quantitative data on the amount of decomposition versus burial of permafrost OC, as well as qualitative insights into the processes that control this.