Bioturbation and redistribution of sediment radionuclides in Enewetak Atoll lagoon by callianassid shrimp: biological aspects
Abstract: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.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 1, 1986
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