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Free Content Accumulation of Sediment Organic Matter in a Hardwater Lake with Reference to Lake Ontogeny

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The occurrence and quality of detrital organic matter was investigated in sediments of a small hardwater lake. The objective of the study was to examine the interactions between plant productivity and growth form, water depth, sediment depth and potential erosion and deposition processes in the lake and their mutual impact on accumulation of detritus in the sediments. Of particular interest are the potential effects such accumulation has on sediment dynamics and lake ontogeny. Sediment core samples were taken on a transect from the water's edge to the deepest part of the lake. Samples of surficial, intermediate and deep sediments from all water depths were analyzed for content of coarse particulate matter, organic matter, solvent-extractable humins and fulvic and humic acids. Sediments at the surface in very shallow water, sediments of intermediate depth in the deep littoral zone, and sediments at all depths in the deepest waters contained the greatest concentrations of organic matter. Furthermore, these organic compounds were shown by spectrophotometric characterization to be old and probably very refractory. The observed occurrence of sedimentary detrital carbon is explained in terms of hypothesized synergistic effects of increasing production and succession of littoral vegetation, differential decomposition rates controlled by properties of both the substrate and the microenvironment and the influence of water movements and basin morphology on sediment erosion and deposition.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1984-11-01

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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