Over-Winter Oceanographic Profiles in Jones Sound, Canadian Arctic Archipelago, November 1961 – June 1962: Temperature, Salinity, Oxygen, and Nutrients


  • Spencer Apollonio
  • David W. Townsend




salinity, temperature, oxygen, nutrients, circulation, nutrient ratios, interannual variability, bacteria and nutrients, ice algae and nutrients


Vertical profiles of temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, and inorganic nutrients (nitrate, phosphate, and silicate) were measured at five depths (2, 10, 25, 50, and 80 m) beneath the ice off the southern shore of Jones Sound, north of Devon Island, through the winter of 1961 – 62. Additional data were collected from the north side of the sound off Grise Fiord, Ellesmere Island, on 13 May 1962 and 12 May 1969. The over-winter data set is used here to characterize the transition of Arctic waters from autumn to late-spring–early summer. Minimum temperatures (< -1.8˚C) and maximum salinities (> 33.2) were reached in late winter and early spring. Oxygen levels declined over the same fall-to-late-spring period and increased markedly in June. Nitrate, phosphate, and silicate concentrations all increased from their lowest values in fall to overall highest values in late spring, after which each nutrient showed evidence of biological uptake. A deep pycnocline, between 50 and 80 m, persisted from November to February, isolating a bottom-water layer that showed evidence of microbially mediated silicate regeneration (silicate concentrations increased, phosphate decreased, and nitrate concentrations were variable). In early spring (19 March to 1 May), nitrate concentrations dropped abruptly at all depths from more than 10 μM to less than 7 μM, apparently in response to the growth of ice algae. Temperature-salinity (T-S) analyses found little evidence of significant water-mass replacements during the study period, but interpretations of coherent variations in nutrient concentrations, as well as observed salinities slightly different from those expected on the basis of ice formation, suggest otherwise. Comparison of results from north of Devon Island with those from sampling off Grise Fiord in May 1962 indicate both higher salinities and lower nutrient concentrations at the latter site; however, data collected at the same site off Grise Fiord in May 1969 showed lower salinities and more variable nutrient concentrations than in 1962.