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Biogeochemical consequences of vertical and lateral transport of particulate organic matter in the southern North Sea: A multiproxy approach
Le Guitton, M.; Soetaert, K.; Sinninghe Damste, J.S.; Middelburg, J.J. (2015). Biogeochemical consequences of vertical and lateral transport of particulate organic matter in the southern North Sea: A multiproxy approach. Est., Coast. and Shelf Sci. 165: 117-127. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2015.09.010
In: Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science. Academic Press: London; New York. ISSN 0272-7714, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    Particulate organic matter; Biogeochemistry; Biomarkers; Transport processes; Benthicepelagic coupling; North Sea

Authors  Top 
  • Le Guitton, M., more
  • Soetaert, K., more
  • Sinninghe Damste, J.S., more
  • Middelburg, J.J., more

Abstract
    Vertical and lateral transports are of importance in continental shelf systems such as the North Sea andplay a major role in the processing of organic matter. We investigated the biogeochemical consequencesof these transports on particulate organic matter at the molecular level in the southern North Sea. Weanalysed suspended particulate matter and surface sediments for organic carbon, pigments and phospholipidderived fatty acids at 10 stations sampled in September 2011 along the particle transport route.The particulate organic matter in both suspended particulate matter and surface sediment was mainlyfrom marine phytoplankton origin but of fresher quality in the water column. Particulate organic matterquality did not change from south to north in the suspended particulate matter, whereas it clearlydecreased towards the north in the surface sediments, reflecting a decreased intensity of benthicepelagiccoupling. However, we also observed strong deposition of fresh organic matter in the northern stationdenoting that occasionally, intense benthicepelagic coupling can occur. Finally, our study highlights thenecessity to use a multiproxy approach covering multiple characteristic time scales, when investigatingboth suspended particulate matter and surface sediments.

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