Organic matter diagenesis in the sediments of the San Pedro Shelf along a transect affected by sewage effluent

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Berelson, W. M., Johnson, K., Coale, K., & Li, H. -C. (2002). Organic matter diagenesis in the sediments of the San Pedro Shelf along a transect affected by sewage effluent. Continental Shelf Research, 22(6), 1101-1115. doi:10.1016/S0278-4343(01)00120-0
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TitleOrganic matter diagenesis in the sediments of the San Pedro Shelf along a transect affected by sewage effluent
AuthorsM. Berelson, K. Johnson, K. Coale, H. Li
AbstractA study was conducted to examine the rate of organic matter degradation within the sediments adjacent to the Whites Point Los Angeles County sewage outfall system on the San Pedro Shelf. Benthic chamber deployments were made at three stations in a transect away from the outfall pipe during three cruise periods (October 1990, February and October 1991). The fluxes of phosphate, silicate and radon-222 showed the most significant difference (factor of 3) between stations proximal and distal to the sewage effluent outfall pipe; the fluxes of nitrate, ammonia, alkalinity and TCO2 showed some gradient (a factor of 1.5-2) and the uptake of oxygen showed no variability between sites. Carbon oxidation in these sediments is driven primarily by net oxygen consumption and secondarily by net sulfate reduction. Net sulfate reduction accounts for about 30% of the carbon oxidation near the outfall pipe and 10-15% at the distal sites. Measurements of radon-222 fluxes and radon emanation rates from sediments indicate that the intensity of bio-irrigation is greater by a factor of 2 at sites away from the outfall pipe, but also shows that bio-irrigation does take place at the site adjacent to the pipe. The total amount of particulate organic carbon (POC) oxidized in the sediments around the outfall is ∼2 × 107 g C/d. An estimate of carbon burial in this region is 4 × 107 g C/d. The outfall system could supply ∼3 × 107 g C/d of which 12-20% is estimated to have been deposited in the region. Hence, effluent-derived POC, although it may be a part of the total organic carbon pool undergoing diagenesis and burial on the sea floor, is not likely the only source of carbon to this system. Primary productivity in the surface ocean could supply 9-13 × 107 g C/d to the sea floor. A balanced carbon budget requires that half the primary production is exported to the sea floor, although this budget does not account for other sources of POC to the region. © 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
JournalContinental Shelf Research
Date2002
Volume22
Issue6-7
Start page1101
End page1115
ISSN02784343
Subjectsdiagenesis, organic carbon, organic matter, sediment pollution, sewage outfall, Pacific Ocean, Pierinae
NoteCited By (since 1996):13, CODEN: CSHRD

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