, Volume 73, Issue 3, pp 355-364
Date: 13 Feb 2011

The burial efficiency of organic carbon in the sediments of Lake Kinneret

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Abstract

Even though lake sediments constitute a significant long-term carbon sink, studies on the regulation of carbon burial in lakes sediments have, to date, been surprisingly few. We investigated to what degree the organic carbon (OC) being deposited onto the bottom of Lake Kinneret (Israel) is buried in the sediment at four different sites with varying degrees of oxygenation and varying supply of allochthonous particles from the River Jordan. For estimation of the OC burial efficiency (OC BE), i.e., the ratio between buried and deposited OC, we calculated OC burial from dated sediment cores, and calculated OC deposition using three different approaches. Calculation of OC deposition from sediment trap-derived mass deposition rates multiplied with the OC content of surface sediment yielded OC BE values that were at odds with published values for sediments dominated by autochthonous OC sources. Calculation via sediment trap data on organic matter flux collected within the Lake Kinneret monitoring program, as well as calculation of OC deposition as the sum of OC burial plus OC mineralization, returned fairly congruent estimates of OC BE (range 10–41%), but only if the sediment trap data were corrected for the proportion of resuspended particles in the traps. Differences in OC BE between sites were small, indicating that OC source (common to all sites) was a more important regulator of OC BE in Lake Kinneret than oxygen exposure or mineral particles characteristics.