Chemical sensors for in situ data collection in the cryosphere

Bagshaw, Elizabeth A.; Beaton, Alexander; Wadham, Jemma L.; Mowlem, Matt; Hawkings, Jon R.; Tranter, Martyn. 2016 Chemical sensors for in situ data collection in the cryosphere. TrAC Trends in Analytical Chemistry, 82. 348-357.

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Glaciers and ice sheets are recognised as important components of global biogeochemical cycles. Chemical sensors have great potential for in situ monitoring in the cryosphere and are available for many analytes of interest, but they are frequently unsuitable for deployment since meltwaters are cold, turbid, experience freeze-thaw cycles and display low ionic strength and concentrations of target analytes. Here, we review in situ chemical sensors currently available for measurement of biogeochemically important analytes and assess their suitability for deployment. These include standard parameters such as dissolved oxygen and pH, along with macronutrients (nitrate/nitrite and phosphate), micronutrients (iron and manganese) and biogenic gases (methane). Where no commercial alternatives are available, we discuss sensors currently in development, and their applicability to these extreme environments. The information presented has great relevance for future science in polar environments, and for the ultimate goal of obtaining in situ data from extreme, inaccessible subglacial environments.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 01659936
Additional Keywords: Cryosphere; Chemical sensors; Glacial meltwater; Oxygen; pH; Methane; Nitrate; Phosphate; Iron
Date made live: 16 Jan 2017 16:27 +0 (UTC)

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