Outflow of trace metals into the Laptev Sea by the Lena River

Cécile Guieu, Wei Wen Huang, Jean Marie Martin, Yoon Yi Yong

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Freshwater concentrations confirm the pristine character of the Lena River environment as already pointed-out in a previous study with a limited set of data (Martin et al., 1993). Total dissolved concentrations of the freshwater are 13.8 ± 1.6 nM, Cu, 4.4 ± 0.1 nM, Ni, 0.054 ± 0.047 nM, Cd, 642 ± 208 nM, Fe, 0.2-0.3 nM Pb and 1.2 ± 1.0 nM, Zn. For Zn and Pb, a simple mixing of the Lena River waters with the Arctic waters is observed. Relationships with salinity suggest that for Cu, Ni and Cd, there is a mobilization of the dissolved fraction from the suspended matter, with an increase of the dissolved concentration of 1.5, 3 and 6 times, respectively. For Fe, the total dissolved concentrations follow an exponential decrease in the mixing zone and 80% of the total 'dissolved' Fe is removed from the solution. For Cu, Ni, Cd and Fe, the riverine end members are 20 nM, 12 nM. 0.3 nM and 47 nM, respectively. When considering the input of total dissolved metals to the Arctic Ocean, the fraction attributed to the freshwaters from the Arctic rivers appears to be small (4% of the input of dissolved metal to the Arctic Ocean for Cd, 27% for Cu, 11% for Ni and 2% for Zn). Metal concentrations in the Laptev Sea and Arctic Ocean are very similar, indicating a generally homogeneous distribution in the areas sampled.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-267
Number of pages13
JournalMarine Chemistry
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Aug 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology


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