Estimates of sulphate reduction rates in Lake Vanda, Antarctica support the proposed recent history of the lake

Purdy, K.J., Hawes, I., Bryant, C.L., Fallick, A.E. and Nedwell, D.B. (2001) Estimates of sulphate reduction rates in Lake Vanda, Antarctica support the proposed recent history of the lake. Antarctic Science, 13(4), pp. 393-399. (doi: 10.1017/S0954102001000554)

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Lake Vanda, a perennially ice-covered Antarctic lake has a highly stratified structure with a pronounced density gradient from 45 m and is anoxic from 68 rn down. In order to gain a greater understanding of the carbon cycling in the lake we attempted to measure sulphate reduction in the summer of 1994, but rates were below detectable limits of 1.2 x 10(6) mol sulphate yr(-1). Therefore sulphate reduction was estimated by calculating the rate of sulphide diffusion from the anoxic zone. Sulphate reduction rates were estimated to be 17.7 x 10(3) mol sulphate yr(-1), accounting for 30% of planktonic primary production over the whole lake, but over 100% of primary productivity in the deep chlorophyll maximum. Radiocarbon dating of organic matter in the sediment (565 +/- 50 yr BP), suggests that little new organic carbon reaches the sediment from the upper water column. Oxygen diffusion into the anoxic zone could account for only 44% of sulphide reoxidation; therefore, alternative oxidizing potential presumably accounted for the remainder. Sulphate concentration may be controlled by the solubility limit for a mineral phase, perhaps gypsum, as it shows a positive correlation with conductivity, The sulphur species in the anoxic zone are highly enriched in S-34 (sulphate delta S-34 = +42 to +46%, sulphide delta S-34 = +13.9%) which may be explained by either selective removal of sulphide at the oxic/anoxic interface by precipitation of metal sulphides or previous loss of H2S to the atmosphere. While sulphate reduction is an important part of the carbon cycle within the lake, the oligotrophic nature of Lake Vanda means that all microbiological process rates are very low. The data presented suggest a dynamic and complex history for Lake Vanda and are entirely consistent with present theories of the lake's history.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Fallick, Professor Anthony and Bryant, Dr Charlotte
Authors: Purdy, K.J., Hawes, I., Bryant, C.L., Fallick, A.E., and Nedwell, D.B.
Subjects:Q Science > QR Microbiology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:Antarctic Science

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