Diatoms and the Ecological Conditions of Their Growth in Sea Ice in the Arctic Ocean

Science  20 May 1966:
Vol. 152, Issue 3725, pp. 1089-1090
DOI: 10.1126/science.152.3725.1089


A summer field survey off Point Barrow, Alaska, revealed that Arctic sea ice develops a growth of phytoplanktonic diatoms. The diatoms are found in a brine solution in microfissures between ice crystals on the underside of the ice. The chlorophyll content of this layer is 100 times more than that of the surrounding sea waters; this has led to a hypothesis that a considerable fraction of the primary production of the Arctic Sea may be carried out in sea ice, especially during the spring and early summer months.