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Marine Biology

, Volume 83, Issue 1, pp 83–94 | Cite as

Sedimentation and benthic mineralization of organic detritus in a Norwegian fjord

  • P. Wassmann
Article

Abstract

The supply of particulate material to the sea-bed as well as the oxygen consumption and the redox potential of the sea-bed were measured during a one-year period (1979/1980) at 60 and 90 m depth in the inner part of a west Norwegian fjord, Fanafjorden. At both sites, uniform sedimentation rates of total particulate material (825 and 885 g m-2 yr-1, respectively) and particulate inorganic material (576 and 616 g m-2 yr-1, respectively) were found. The sedimentation rates of particulate organic carbon (96 and 107 g m-2 yr-1, respectively) and particulate organic nitrogen (10 and 12 g m-2 yr-1, respectively) were low in winter, higher in summer and autumn, with maxima in May/June, reflecting similar maxima in the phytoplankton biomass in the area, with 6 to 8 wk delay. The oxygen consumption of the sea-floor was lowest in winter/spring and highest in summer. Thirtytwo and 38 g C m-2 yr-1 (respiration quotient=0.85) were metabolized by the sediment at 60 and 90 m, respectively. The simultaneous measurements of sedimentation rates and sediment oxygen uptake throughout a whole year demonstrated that the benthic mineralization is governed by the sedimentation over a longer time-scale, but that seasonal imbalances do occur. A box-model of the flux of particulate organic carbon to the sediment surface is presented, and includes the relevant processes and some quantitative estimates.

Keywords

Phytoplankton Sedimentation Oxygen Consumption Sedimentation Rate Detritus 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer-Verlag 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Wassmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Marine BiologyUniversity of BergenBlomsterdalenNorway

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