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Nutrients in Glacial Melt Water

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Uploaded on Nov 5, 2011

Researchers at the University of Alaska Southeast are trying to better understand how nutrients in glacial rivers affect marine ecosystems. About one-half of the discharge into the Gulf of Alaska is from glacial melt. Glacier water contains a unique mixture of nutrients such as carbon, phosphorus, and iron. Once these dissolved nutrients in the glacial melt reach the ocean they can help promote biological productivity. Runoff from the Mendenhall Glacier and other glaciers can also transport carbon combustion products from coal burning and automobiles that were deposited from the atmosphere on the glacier as snow and rain.

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