Stabilization of organic material from soils and soil-like bodies in the Lena River Delta (13C-NMR spectroscopy analysis)


Permafrost soils, SOM, Arctica, CP/MAS, humic acids
Permafrost soils
humic acids


The Arctic ecosystem has a huge reservoir of soil organic carbon stored in permafrost-affected soils and biosediments. During the short vegetation season, humification and mineralization processes in the active soil layer result in the formation of specific soil organic substances – humic substances. Humic acids are high molecular, specific, thermodynamically stable macromolecules. The study was conducted in the Lena River Delta, the largest river delta located in the Arctic. Cryosol-type soils on alluvial deposits of the river form an area of about 45 thousand km2 under permafrost conditions. The vegetation cover is represented by moss-lichen communities with the presence of Salix glauca in the flooded areas, as well as Betula nana in the areas not subject to flooding. The paper presents the elemental and molecular composition of humic acids isolated from soils, integral indicators of humification (stabilization) of organic matter in the soils of the Lena River Delta. The study was conducted using the 13C (CP/MAS) NMR spectroscopy method. In the work, it was revealed that up to 33% of aromatic and up to 15% COOR fragments are accumulated in humic acids. The AR/AL ratio ranged from 0.69 to 0.89. The studied soils are variants of modern soil formation (not subjected to alluvial processes) and soil-like bodies that melted from the IC of the river delta. A relatively high degree of condensation of humic acid macromolecules in comparison with other polar regions of the Arctic and Antarctic was noted.


Abakumov E, Lodygin E, Tomashunas V. 2015. 13C NMR and ESR characterization of humic substances isolated from soils of two Siberian arctic islands. International Journal of Ecology ID 390591. 7 p.

Abakumov EV, Polyakov VI, Orlova KS. 2019. Podzol development on different aged coastal bars of lake Ladoga. Vestnik Tomskogo Gosudarstvennogo Universiteta Biologiya 48:6-31.

Beznosikov VA, Lodygin ED. 2010. High-molecular organic substances in soils. Transactions of the Komi Scientific Center of Ural Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences 1:24-30.

Boike J, Kattenstroth B, Abramova K, Bornemann N, Chetverova A, Fedorova I, Fröb K, Grigoriev M, Grüber M, Kutzbach L, et al. 2013. Baseline characteristics of climate, permafrost and land cover from a new permafrost observatory in the Lena River Delta, Siberia (1998-2011). Biogeosciences 10(3):2105-2128.

Bolshiyanov DY, Makarov AS, Schneider V, Stoof G. 2013. Origin and development of the Delta Lena River. St. Petersburg: AARI.

Cauwet G, Sidorov I. 1996. The biogeochemistry of Lena River: Organic carbon and nutrients distribution. Marine Chemistry 53(3):211-227.

Chukov SN, Abakumov EV, Tomashunas VM. 2015. Characterization of humic acids from Antarctic soils by nuclear magnetic resonance. Eurasian Soil Science 48(11):1207-1211.

Dai XY, Ping CL, Michaelson GJ. 2002. Characterizing soil organic matter in Arctic tundra soils by different analytical approaches. Organic Geochemistry 33(4):407-419.

Davidson EA, Janssens IA. 2006. Temperature sensitivity of soil carbon decomposition and feedbacks to climate change. Nature 440(7081):165-173.

Davis TN. 2001. Permafrost: A guide to frozen ground in transition. Fairbanks, AK: University of Alaska Press.

Dobrovolsky GV. 2005. Soils of the floodplains of the center of the Russian plain. Moscow: Izd-vo MGU. 293 p.

Dutta K, Schuur EAG, Neff JC, Zimov SA. 2006. Potential carbon release from permafrost soils of Northeastern Siberia. Global Change Biology 12(12):2336-2351.

Dziadowiec H, Gonet S, Plichta W. 1994. Properties of humic acids of Arctic tundra soils in Spitsbergen. Polish Polar Research 15(1-2):71-81.

Ejarque E, Abakumov E. 2016. Stability and biodegradability of organic matter from arctic soils of Western Siberia: Insights from 13C-NMR spectroscopy and elemental analysis. Solid Earth 7(1):153-165.

Hatcher PG, Schnitzer M, Dennis LW, Maciel GE. 1981. Aromaticity of humic substances in soils. Soil Science Society of America Journal 45(6):1089-1094.

IUSS Working Group WRB. 2015. World Reference Base for Soil Resources 2014, update 2015. International soil classification system for naming soils and creating legends for soil maps. World Soil Resources Reports No. 106. Rome: FAO.

Izokh N, Yazikov A. 2017. Discovery of early carboniferous conodonts in northern Kharaulakh Ranges (lower reaches of the Lena River, Northeastern Siberia, Arctic Russia). Revue de Micropaléontologie 60(2):213-232.

Jones A, Stolbovoy V, Tarnocai C, Broll G, Spaargaren O, Montanarella L. 2010. Soil Atlas of the Northern Circumpolar Region. European Commission. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union. 144 p.

Karmanov AP, Kocheva LS, Karmanova YA. 2015. Investigation of lignin from moss Polytrichum commune. Сhemistry of plant raw material. 109 p.

Kleinhempel D. 1970. Ein beitrag zur theorie des huminstoffezustondes. Akademie-Verlag.

Knoblauch C, Beer C, Sosnin A, Wagner D, Pfeiffer E-M. 2013. Predicting long-term carbon mineralization and trace gas production from thawing permafrost of North-East Siberia. Global Change Biology 19(4):1160-1172.

Kutzbach L, Wagner D, Pfeiffer E-M. 2004. Effect of microrelief and vegetation on methane emission from wet polygonal tundra, Lena Delta, Northern Siberia. Biogeochemistry 69(3):341-362.

Lara RJ, Rachold V, Kattner G, Hubberten HW, Guggenberger G, Skoog A, Thomas DN. 1998. Dissolved organic matter and nutrients in the Lena River, Siberian Arctic: Characteristics and distribution. Marine Chemistry 59(3):301-309.

Lodygin ED, Beznosikov VA. 2010. The molecular structure and elemental composition of humic substances from Albeluvisols. Chemistry and Ecology 26(2):87-95.

Lodygin E, Beznosikov V, Abakumov E. 2017. Humic substances elemental composition of selected taiga and tundra soils from Russian European North-East. Polish Polar Research 38:125-147.

Lodygin ED, Beznosikov VA, Vasilevich RS. 2014. Molecular composition of humic substances in tundra soils (13C-NMR spectroscopic study). Eurasian Soil Science 47:400-406.

Lupachev A, Abakumov E, Gubin S. 2017. The influence of cryogenic mass exchange on the composition and stabilization rate of soil organic matter in Cryosols of the Kolyma Lowland (North Yakutia, Russia). Geosciences (Switzerland) 7(2):24.

Mišurcová L, Škrovánková S, Samek D, Ambrožová J, Machů L. 2012. Health benefits of algal polysaccharides in human nutrition. In: Henry J, editor. Advances in Food and Nutrition Research. Academic Press. p. 75-145.

Munsell Color (Firm). 2010. Munsell Soil Color Charts: with genuine Munsell color chips. Grand Rapids, MI: Munsell Color.

Orlov DS. 1985. Soil Chemistry: A Textbook. Moscow: Moscow State University. 376 p.

Orlov DS. 1990. Soil Humic Acids and General Theory Humification. Mosсow: Moscov State University. 325 p.

Pengerud A, Dignac M-F, Certini G, Strand LT, Forte C, Rasse DP. 2017. Soil organic matter molecular composition and state of decomposition in three locations of the European Arctic. Biogeochemistry 135(3):277-292.

Polyakov V, Abakumov EV. 2020. Humic acids isolated from selected soils from the Russian Arctic and Antarctic: Characterization by two-dimensional 1H-13C HETCOR and 13C CP/MAS NMR spectroscopy. Geosciences 10(1):15.

Polyakov VI, Chegodaeva NA, Abakumov EV. 2019b. Molecular and elemental composition of humic acids isolated from selected soils of the Russian Arctic. Vestnik Tomskogo Gosudarstvennogo Universiteta Biologiya 47:6-21.

Polyakov V, Orlova K, Abakumov E. 2018. Soils of the Lena River Delta, Yakutia, Russia: Diversity, Characteristics and humic acids molecular composition. Polarforschung 88(2):135-150.

Polyakov V, Zazovskaya E, Abakumov E. 2019a. Molecular composition of humic substances isolated from selected soils and cryconite of the Grønfjorden area, Spitsbergen. Polish Polar Research 40(2):105-120.

Schimel DS. 1995. Terrestrial ecosystems and the carbon cycle. Global Change Biology 1(1):77-91.

Schirrmeister L, Grosse G, Schwamborn G, Andreev AA, Meyer H, Kunitsky VV, Kuznetsova TV, Dorozhkina MV, Pavlova EY, Bobrov AA, et al. 2003. Late Quaternary history of the accumulation plain north of the Chekanovsky Ridge (Lena Delta, Russia): A multidisciplinary approach. Polar Geography 27(4):277-319.

Schneider J, Grosse G, Wagner D. 2009. Land cover classification of tundra environments in the Arctic Lena Delta based on Landsat 7 ETM+ data and its application for upscaling of methane emissions. Remote Sensing of Environment 113(2):380-391.

Semenov VM, Ivannikov LA, Tulina AS. 2009. Stabilization of organic matter in the soil. Eurasian Soil Science 10:77-96.

Strebel D, Elberling B, Morgner E, Knicker HE, Cooper EJ. 2010. Cold-season soil respiration in response to grazing and warming in high-arctic Svalbard. Polar Research 29(1):46-57.

Swift RS. 1996. Organic matter characterization. In: Sparks DL, editor. Methods of Soil Analysis. Chemical methods. Madison: Soil Science Society of America, American Society of Agronomy. p. 1011-1069.

Szymański W. 2017. Chemistry and spectroscopic properties of surface horizons of Arctic soils under different types of tundra vegetation – a case study from the fuglebergsletta coastal plain (SW Spitsbergen). Catena 156:325-337.

van Krevelen DW. 1950. Studies of gas absorption. Vi. A graphical representation for the efficiency of physical absorption. Recueil des Travaux Chimiques des Pays-Bas 69(4):503-508.

Vasilevich RS, Beznosikov VA, Lodygin ED. 2019. Molecular structure of humus substances in permafrost peat mounds in forest tundra. Eurasian Soil Science 52(3):283-295.

Vasilevich R, Lodygin E, Beznosikov V, Abakumov E. 2018. Molecular composition of raw peat and humic substances from permafrost peat soils of European North-East Russia as climate change markers. Science of the Total Environment 615:1229-1238.

Verkhoturova EV, Evstaf'ev SN. 2016. Composition of high food fragmentation wheat straw lignin when being under dynamic conditions of subcritical autohydrolysis. Izvestiya Vuzov Prikladnaya Khimiya i Biotekhnologiya 6(2):30-37.

Yao S-H, Zhang Y-L, Han Y, Han X-Z, Mao J-D, Zhang B. 2019. Labile and recalcitrant components of organic matter of a Mollisol changed with land use and plant litter management: An advanced 13C-NMR study. Science of the Total Environment. 660:1-10.

Zubrzycki S, Kutzbach L, Grosse G, Desyatkin A, Pfeiffer EM. 2013. Organic carbon and total nitrogen stocks in soils of the Lena River Delta. Biogeosciences 10(6):3507-3524.

Zubrzycki S, Kutzbach L, Pfeiffer EM. 2014. Permafrost-affected soils and their carbon pools with a focus on the Russian Arctic. Solid Earth 5(2):595-609.