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Soil organic matter transport along an sub-Arctic river-sea transect

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Helen Talbot


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Bacteriohopanepolyols (BHPs) and glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (GDGTs) have potential as soil-tracing biomarkers for the extensive shelves of the Arctic Ocean. In this work these biomarkers were analysed in surface sediments along a well characterised sub-Arctic transect in the northernmost Baltic Sea from the Kalix River to the central Bothnian Bay to assess their environmental behaviour and potential for tracing the contribution of soil in this type of system. There was a high BHP diversity and enhanced total BHP concentration in the estuarine sediments, whereas a much less diverse pattern could be observed in the open bay with lower total BHP concentration. In addition, both soil marker BHPs (adenosylhopanes) and branched GDGTs were substantially more abundant in the estuarine than the open bay sediments. The R'(soil) index, based on the R-soil index minus the contribution from the methylated soil marker BHPs, is suggested as a new approach for tracing soil derived organic matter (OM) in the (sub)-Arctic region. The index decreased along the transect in an off-river direction, correlating strongly with both the branched and isoprenoid tetraether (BIT) index and the stable carbon isotopic composition of the sedimentary organic carbon. These field results indicate that both the R'(soil) and the BIT indices have potential for tracing soil derived OM in sub-Arctic to Arctic waters. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Dogrul Selver A, Talbot HM, Gustafsson O, Boult S, van Dongen BE

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Organic Geochemistry

Year: 2012

Volume: 51

Pages: 63-72

Print publication date: 01/10/2012

ISSN (print): 0146-6380

ISSN (electronic): 1873-5290

Publisher: Pergamon


DOI: 10.1016/j.orggeochem.2012.08.002


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