The PhD project of Jacqueline Knutson connected with the project 'Global Change at Northern Latitudes' has the tentative title: "Transport and Processing of Terrestrial Organic Matter in Northern Ecosystems Under Climate Change; a Catchment Perspective".
The main objective of this project is to better understand climatic effects on mobilization, transport and processing of terrestrial organic matter (Dissolved Organic Carbon, DOC) between land and coast. More specifically, the PhD project will consider three interlinked themes: understanding Nordic headwater DOC transport, study of connections between hydrology and DOC concentrations in an area with thawing permafrost, and organic matter lability from headwater to coast.
The first topic concerns an existing dataset of long-term monitoring records of hydrology and DOC in Norway, Sweden and Finland and will be analyzed for trends and hydrological controls of DOC.
The second topic is related to an intensively studied site in Finnmark (Iskoras) where permafrost is thawing. The role of DOM transport and its relation to hydrological change is particularly poorly understood in regions with thawing permafrost, where hydrology is thought to play a crucial role in destabilization of formerly stable stores of organic carbon. Additionally, measurements of dissolved greenhouse gases and emissions from water are done. Here, field investigations are being undertaken. Sensors have been installed that measure water level and temperature.
The third topic regards the role of the aquatic ecosystems themselves as a reactor for removal and mineralization of DOM (DOC).
All investigations are embedded in collaborations with other scientists, at NIVA, UiO and also in Bergen and NTNU.