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Lookup NU author(s): Dr Sanem Acikalin Cartigny,
Dr Claire McGhee
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).
Burial of terrestrial biospheric particulate organic carbon in marine sediments removesCO2 from the atmosphere, regulating climate over geologic time scales. Rivers deliver terrestrialorganic carbon to the sea, while turbidity currents transport river sediment furtheroffshore. Previous studies have suggested that most organic carbon resides in muddy marinesediment. However, turbidity currents can carry a significant component of coarser sediment,which is commonly assumed to be organic carbon poor. Here, using data from a Canadianfjord, we show that young woody debris can be rapidly buried in sandy layers of turbiditycurrent deposits (turbidites). These layers have organic carbon contents 10× higher thanthe overlying mud layer, and overall, woody debris makes up >70% of the organic carbonpreserved in the deposits. Burial of woody debris in sands overlain by mud caps reducestheir exposure to oxygen, increasing organic carbon burial efficiency. Sandy turbidity currentchannels are common in fjords and the deep sea; hence we suggest that previous globalorganic carbon burial budgets may have been underestimated.
Author(s): Hage S, Galy VV, Cartigny MBJ, Acikalin S, Clare MA, Grocke DR, Hilton RG, Hunt JE, Lintern DG, McGhee CA, Parsons DR, Stacey CD, Sumner EJ, Talling PJ
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Online publication date: 29/05/2020
Acceptance date: 13/04/2020
Date deposited: 23/11/2020
ISSN (print): 2542-6567
ISSN (electronic): 2542-6575
Publisher: Bentham Science Publishers Ltd.
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