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The dispersal of sedimentary terrestrial organic matter in the East China Sea (ECS) as revealed by biomarkers and hydro-chemical characteristics

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Honglin Zhang, Professor Thomas Wagner


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Terrestrial organic matter (TOM) in surface sediments from the lower Yangtze River and adjacent East China Sea (ECS) shelf was characterized using elemental, stable carbon isotope and molecular analysis. The results show that it is heterogeneous and derives from various sources in the lower river transect (RC transect) and inner shelf transect (ZJ transect), but is more homogeneous and presumably derives from a single source in the cross-shelf transect (PN transect). The trends in sedimentary TOM abundance indicated by high molecular weight n-alkane abundances and distributions, lignin-derived products, δ13C values of total organic carbon (δ13CTOC) and ratio of TOC to total nitrogen (C/N) suggest a southward (off-estuary) transport mode of TOM along the inner shelf transect while, counter intuitively, the opposite or no trend in TOM off-estuary transport occur along the cross-shelf transect. We therefore suggest that Yangtze-discharged OM is transported southwards along the Zhejiang-Fujian coast (ZJ transect) and enters the Southern Okinawa Trough via near bottom currents, from where it is ultimately delivered back upslope to the middle shelf by the Kuroshio invading water, consistent with the hydro-chemical characteristics of the ECS. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Zhu C, Xue B, Pan J, Zhang H, Wagner T, Pancost RD

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Organic Geochemistry

Year: 2008

Volume: 39

Issue: 8

Pages: 952-957

Print publication date: 01/08/2008

ISSN (print): 0146-6380

ISSN (electronic): 1873-5290

Publisher: Pergamon


DOI: 10.1016/j.orggeochem.2008.04.024


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