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Earth System Dynamics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-2017-14
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
19 Apr 2017
Review status
A revision of this discussion paper is under review for the journal Earth System Dynamics (ESD).
Effects of the 2014 Major Baltic Inflow on methane and nitrous oxide dynamics in the water column of the Central Baltic Sea
Jukka-Pekka Myllykangas1, Tom Jilbert1, Gunnar Jakobs1,2, Gregor Rehder3, Jan Werner3, and Susanna Hietanen1 1Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 65, FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland
2Technical University of Denmark, Frederiksborgvej 399, 4000 Roskilde, Denmark
3Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde (IOW), Seestraße 15, D-18119 Rostock, Germany
Abstract. In late 2014, a large, oxygen-rich salt water inflow entered the Baltic Sea and caused considerable changes in deep water oxygen concentrations. We studied the effects of the inflow on the concentration patterns of two greenhouse gases, methane and nitrous oxide, during the following year (2015) in the water column of the Gotland Basin. Methane which had previously accumulated in anoxic deep waters was largely removed from the Eastern Gotland Basin during the year, predominantly due to oxidation following turbulent mixing with the oxygen-rich inflow. In contrast nitrous oxide, which was previously absent from deep waters, accumulated in deep waters due to enhanced nitrification following the inflow. A transient extreme accumulation of nitrous oxide was observed in the deep waters of the Eastern Gotland Basin towards the end of 2015, when deep waters turned anoxic again and sedimentary denitrification was induced. The Western Gotland Basin gas biogeochemistry was not affected by the inflow.

Citation: Myllykangas, J.-P., Jilbert, T., Jakobs, G., Rehder, G., Werner, J., and Hietanen, S.: Effects of the 2014 Major Baltic Inflow on methane and nitrous oxide dynamics in the water column of the Central Baltic Sea, Earth Syst. Dynam. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-2017-14, in review, 2017.
Jukka-Pekka Myllykangas et al.
Jukka-Pekka Myllykangas et al.
Jukka-Pekka Myllykangas et al.

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Short summary
The deep waters of the Baltic Sea host an expanding dead zone, where low-oxygen conditions favor the natural production of two strong greenhouse gases, methane and nitrous oxide. Oxygen is introduced into the deeps only during rare salt pulses. We studied the effects of a recent salt pulse on Baltic greenhouse gas production. We found that where oxygen was introduced, methane was largely removed, while nitrous oxide production increased, indicating strong effects on greenhouse gas dynamics.
The deep waters of the Baltic Sea host an expanding dead zone, where low-oxygen conditions favor...
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