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Free Content Analyses of the settling velocities of fecal pellets from the subtidal polychaete Amphicteis scaphobranchiata

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Measured settling velocities of fecal pellets produced by Amphicteis scaphobranchiata, a deposit-feeding subtidal polychaete worm, are analyzed to determine the effects of pellet shapes and to arrive at improved formulae for predicting settling rates of fecal pellets in general. Drag coefficients calculated from the measured settling velocities and pellet densities decrease with increasing Reynolds numbers, the trend roughly paralleling the drag-coefficient curve for spheres but having higher values due to the nonspherical shapes of the pellets. No clear dependence could be found on the pellet shapes, however, when the shape is expressed as pellet elongation (length/width). Comparisons are also made between the measured settling velocities and equations for the prediction of settling of spheres, the relationships between the two serving as the basis for improved equations for the evaluation of settling velocities of fecal pellets of diverse origins.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 August 1985

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  • The Journal of Marine Research publishes peer-reviewed research articles covering a broad array of topics in physical, biological and chemical oceanography. Articles that deal with processes, as well as those that report significant observations, are welcome. In the area of biology, studies involving coupling between ecological and physical processes are preferred over those that report systematics. Authors benefit from thorough reviews of their manuscripts, where an attempt is made to maximize clarity. The time between submission and publication is kept to a minimum; there is no page charge.
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