Sources and Variability of Suspended Particulates and Organic Carbon in a Salt Marsh Estuary

  • Robert C. Harriss
  • Benny W. Ribelin
  • C. Dreyer
Part of the Marine Science book series (MR, volume 11)


Juncus roemerianus salt marsh ecosystems bordering the Northeast Gulf of Mexico are an apparent source of suspended particulates to adjacent coastal waters. More than 98 percent of the detrital particulates collected from ebb tide waters are comprised of amorphous aggregates, derived primarily from organic films produced by benthic microflora. Vascular plant fragments from the predominant macrophyte in the marshes, Juncus roemerianus, are not an important source of detritus to the estuarine water column. Tidal cycle, light levels, and weather-related episodic phenomena all influence the production and distribution of suspended particulates and organic carbon in estuarine waters.

The transport of dissolved organic carbon from low salinity marsh source areas to relatively high salinity offshore waters exhibits linear dilution characteristics. Particulate organic carbon exhibits a nonlinear relationship to salinity in estuarine waters, primarily due to the influence of sediment resuspension by water column turbulence.

The data from this study offer an opportunity to explore the relative importance of components of variability in the suspended particulate distribution through water-quality simulation modeling.


Salt Marsh Particulate Organic Carbon Total Suspended Particulate Tidal Creek Estuarine Water 
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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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert C. Harriss
    • 1
  • Benny W. Ribelin
    • 2
  • C. Dreyer
    • 3
  1. 1.NASA Langley Research CenterHamptonUSA
  2. 2.Sea Farms de HondurasCholutecaHonduras
  3. 3.Dept. of OceanographyFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA

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