Advertisement

Limnology

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 133–142 | Cite as

Sources of organic carbon and depositional environment in the Bengal delta plain sediments during the Holocene period

  • Hossain M. AnawarEmail author
  • Takahito Yoshioka
  • Eiichi Konohira
  • Junji Akai
  • M. C. Freitas
  • Shafi M Tareq
Research paper

Abstract

This study investigated the sources of organic matter and sediment depositional environment within fluviatile sediments of the Ganges–Meghna (GM) delta plains. The very low contents of trace metals e.g., chromium (Cr), cobalt (Co), scandium (Sc), and vanadium (V), organic carbon content, and cerium (Ce)-anomaly data of sediments indicate the redox conditions that fall within the boundary of oxic–anoxic condition, with dominantly oxic conditions in the sediment deposition environment. The higher atomic carbon nitrogen (C/N)a ratios and depleted stable carbon isotope ratio (δ13C) values for sediments from three study areas indicated the terrestrial sources of organic matter derived from C3 plant materials, whereas the contribution of organic materials from C4 vegetation and riverine productivity is low. Some silty sand samples exhibited lower (C/N)a ratios and enriched δ13C values in Sonargaon and Faridpur areas that are attributed to the adsorption of ammonium ions on clay minerals and the contribution of organic matter from C4 plants. Total sulfur over total organic carbon (TS/TOC) ratios in sediments of the Ganges delta reflect the nonmarine environments of sediment deposition. The lower ratios of syringyl to vanillyl phenols (S/V), cinnamyl to vanillyl phenols (C/V), and acid to aldehyde in vanillyl phenols (Ad/Al)v observed in Daudkandi indicate that the lignin in sediments derived from dominant woody gymnosperm sources and is very highly degraded. By contrast, the S/V ratio, C/V ratios, and [Ad/Al]v ratios in Faridpur suggest that the lignin in sediments derived from a mixture of woody and nonwoody angiosperm plant tissue contribution that underwent high degradation as well.

Keywords

Sedimentary organic matter (C/N)a ratios δ13C values Terrestrial plants C3 and C4 plants Redox environment 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We acknowledge the assistance of Dr. Toshio Ishizuka, Ocean Research Institute, University of Tokyo, in sample collection. The authors are grateful to Prof. Kikuo Kato and Kaori Komaki, Nagoya University, for cooperation in the elemental analysis of sediment samples. The anonymous reviewers are thanked for their comments to improve the manuscript.

References

  1. Alberdi-Genolet M, Tocco R (1999) Trace metals and organic geochemistry of the Machiques Member (Aptian–Albian) and La Luna Formation (Cenomanian–Campanian), Venezuela. Chem Geol 160:19–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anawar HM, Akai J, Komaki K, Terao H, Yoshioka T, Ishizuka T, Safiullah S, Kato K (2003) Geochemical occurrence of arsenic in groundwater of Bangladesh: sources and mobilization processes. J Geochem Explor 77:109–131CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Banakar VK, Parthiban G, Pattan JN, Jauhari P (1998) Chemistry of surface sediment along a north-south transect across the equator in the Central Indian Basin: an assessment of biogenic and detrital influences on elemental burial on the seafloor. Chem Geol 147:217–232CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bernasconi SM, Barbieri A, Simona M (1997) Carbon and nitrogen isotope variations in sedimenting organic matter in Lake Lugano. Limnol Oceanogr 42:1755–1765CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Boldrin A, Langone L, Miserocchi S, Turchetto M, Acri F (2005) Po River plume on the Adriatic continental shelf: dispersion and sedimentation of dissolved and suspended matter during different river discharge rates. Mar Geol 222–223:135–158CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dunn RJK, Welsh DT, Teasdale PR, Lee SY, Lemckert CJ, Meziane T (2008) Investigating the distribution and sources of organic matter in surface sediment of Coombabah Lake (Australia) using elemental, isotopic and fatty acid biomarkers. Continental Shelf Res 28:2535–2549CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ertel JR, Hedges JI (1984) The lignin component of humic substances: distribution among soil and sedimentary humic, fulvic, and base-insoluble fractions. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 48:2065–2074CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Fernandes L, Nayak GN (2009) Distribution of sediment parameters and depositional environment of mudflats of Mandovi estuary, Goa, India. J Coastal Res 25:273–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Fry B, Scalan RS, Parker PL (1977) Stable carbon isotopic evidence for two sources of organic matter in coastal sediments: seagrasses and plankton. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 41:1875–1877CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Goni MA, Hedges JI (1992) Lignin dimers: structures, distributions and potential geochemical application. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 56:4025–4043CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Goni MA, Nelson B, Blanchette RA, Hedges JI (1993) Fungal degradation of wood lignins: geochemical perspectives from CuO-derived phenolic dimers and monomers. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 57:3985–4000CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Goni MA, Ruttenberger KC, Eglinton TI (1997) Sources and contribution of terrigenous organic carbon to surface sediments in the Gulf of Mexico. Nature 389:275–278CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Goni MA, Monacci N, Gisewhite R, Ogston A, Crockett J, Nittrouer C (2006) Distribution and sources of particulate organic matter in the water column and sediments of the Fly River Delta, Gulf of Papua (Papua New Guinea). Estuar Coast Shelf Sci 69:225–245CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Guggenberger G, Christensen GT, Zech W (1994) Land-use effects on the composition of organic matter in particle-size separates of soil: I. Lignin and carbohydrate signature. Eur J Soil Sci 45:449–458CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hedges JI (1992) Global biogeochemical cycles: progress and problems. Mar Chem 39:67–93CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hedges JI, Ertel JR (1982) Characterization of lignin by gas capillary chromatography of cupric oxide oxidation products. Anal Chem 54:174–178CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hedges JI, Keil RG (1995) Sedimentary organic matter preservation: an assessment and speculative synthesis. Mar Chem 49:81–115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hedges JI, Clark WA, Quay PD, Richey JE, Devol AH, UdM Santos (1986) Compositions and fluxes of particulate organic material in the Amazon River. Limnol Oceanogr 31:717–738CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hedges JI, Clark WA, Cowie GL (1988) Fluxes and reactivities of organic matter in a coastal marine bay. Limnol Oceanogr 33:1137–1152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Jarrar G, Amireh B, Zachmann D (2000) The major, trace and rare earth element geochemistry of glauconites from the early Cretaceous Kurnub Group of Jordan. Geochem J 34:207–222Google Scholar
  21. Kern RA, Schlesinger WH (1992) Carbon stores in vegetation. Nature 357:447–448CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Koyama M, Matsushita R (1980) Use of neutron spectrum sensitive monitors for instrumental neutron activation analysis. Bull Ins Chem Res, Kyoto Univ 58:235–243Google Scholar
  23. Kuzyk ZZA, Goñi MA, Stern GA, Macdonald RW (2008) Sources, pathways and sinks of particulate organic matter in Hudson Bay: evidence from lignin distributions. Mar Chem 112:215–229CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lobbes JM, Fitznar HP, Kattner G (2000) Biogeochemical characteristics of dissolved and particulate organic matter in Russian rivers entering the Arctic Ocean. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 64:2973–2983CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Louchouarn P (1996) La dégradation de la lignine dans les sols indondés des réservoirs hydroélectriques du moyen-nord québécois. Congrès de l’Acfas, MontréalGoogle Scholar
  26. McArthur JM, Tyson RV, Thomson J, Mattey D (1992) Early diagenesis of marine organic matter: alteration of the carbon isotope composition. Mar Geol 105:51–61CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Medina E, Francisco M, Sternberg L, Anderson WT (2005) Isotopic signatures of organic matter in sediments of the continental shelf facing the Orinoco Delta: possible contribution of organic carbon from savannas. Estuar Coast Shelf Sci 63:527–536CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Meyers PA (1997) Organic geochemical proxies of paleoceanographic, paleolimnologic, and paleoclimatic processes. Org Geochem 27:213–250CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Muller PJ (1977) C/N ratio in Pacific deep-sea sediments: effect of inorganic ammonium and organic nitrogen compound sorbed by clays. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 41:765–776CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Musashino M (1990) The Panthalassa-a cerium-rich Atlantic-type ocean: sedimentary environments of the Tamba Group, Southwest Japan. Tectonophysics 181:165–177CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Onstad GD, Canfield DE, Quay PD, Hedges JI (2000) Sources of particulate organic matter in rivers from the continental USA: lignin phenol and stable carbon isotope compositions. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 64:3539–3546CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Opsahl S, Benner R (1995) Early diagenesis of vascular plant tissues: lignin and cutin decomposition and biogeochemical implications. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 59:4889–4904CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Petsch ST, Berner RA, Eglinton TI (2000) A field study of the chemical weathering of ancient sedimentary organic matter. Org Geochem 31:475–487CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Ramesh R, Al Ramamanthan, Ramesh S, Purvaja R, Subramanian V (2000) Distribution of rare earth elements and heavy metals in the surficial sediments of the Himalayan river system. Geochem J 34:295–319Google Scholar
  35. Redfield AC, Ketchum BA, Richards FA (1963) The influence of organisms on the composition of sea-water. In: Hill MN (ed) The sea, vol 2. Wiley, London, pp 26–77Google Scholar
  36. Sampei Y, Matsumoto E (2001) C/N ratios in a sediment core from Nakaumi Lagoon, southwest Japan-usefulness as an organic source indicator. Geochem J 35:189–205Google Scholar
  37. Swarzenski PW, Campbell PL, Osterman LE, Poore RZ (2008) A 1000-year sediment record of recurring hypoxia off the Mississippi River: the potential role of terrestrially derived organic matter inputs. Mar Chem 109:130–142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Tareq SM (2006) Advanced application of lignin biomarker and isotope signatures in lacustrine deposits to the reconstruction of paleovegetation. D.Sc. dissertation, Nagoya University, Japan, p 258Google Scholar
  39. Tareq SM, Tanaka N, Ohta K (2004) Biomarker signature in tropical wetland: lignin phenol vegetation index (LPVI) and its implications for reconstructing the paleoenvironment. Sci Total Environ 324:91–103CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. Taylor SR, McLennan SM (1985) The continental crust: its composition and evolution. Blackwell, Oxford, p 311Google Scholar
  41. Wedepohl K (ed) (1969) Handbook of geochemistry. Springer, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  42. Wright J, Schrader H, Holser W (1987) Paleoredox variations in ancient oceans recorded by rare earth elements in fossil apatite. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 51:631–644CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Japanese Society of Limnology 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hossain M. Anawar
    • 1
    Email author
  • Takahito Yoshioka
    • 2
  • Eiichi Konohira
    • 3
  • Junji Akai
    • 4
  • M. C. Freitas
    • 1
  • Shafi M Tareq
    • 5
  1. 1.Instituto Tecnológico e Nuclear ReactorSacavémPortugal
  2. 2.Field Science Education and Research CenterKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  3. 3.Graduate School of Environmental StudiesNagoya UniversityNagoyaJapan
  4. 4.Department of GeologyNiigata UniversityNiigataJapan
  5. 5.Department of Environmental SciencesJahangirnagar UniversityDhakaBangladesh

Personalised recommendations