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Free Content Bioturbation and redistribution of sediment radionuclides in Enewetak Atoll lagoon by callianassid shrimp: biological aspects

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Callianassid ghost shrimp are abundant in both shallow and deep regions of Enewetak Atoll lagoon. They cause extensive bioturbation of lagoon sediments and contribute significantly to both lateral and vertical sediment mixing, often burrowing to depths of over 2.0 m. In addition, their burrows often intersect and disrupt layers of highly radioactive sediments that have resulted from nuclear weapons testing at Enewetak during the 1950's. Some of the highest activity levels of radionuclides are those associated with very fine-grained sediments (<38 μm). Callianassids tend to preferentially store coarse-grained particles (>ca. 1.0 mm) in sub-surface refuse galleries. However, fine-grained sediments are normally either used in tunnel wall construction or pumped to the sediment/water interface and accumulate as mounds. Therefore, callianassid shrimp provide a mechanism by which entrained radionuclides can be redistributed both laterally and vertically to the surface of lagoon sediments.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 1986

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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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