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Free Content Early diagenesis of calcium carbonate in Long Island Sound sediments: Benthic fluxes of Ca2+ and minor elements during seasonal periods of net dissolution

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The present study confirms the quantitative significance of carbonate dissolution for associated major and minor element solute fluxes in shelf deposits of temperate regions. Multiple measurement techniques all demonstrate that net dissolution of CaCO3 dominates during winter in Long Island Sound sediments and results in large fluxes of Ca2+, Sr2+, and F- out of the seafloor. Ca2+ fluxes averaged from 4 independent methods range from ~5 to ~13 mmol m-2 d-1 with highest flux occurring when surface deposits are most undersaturated with respect to common biogenic carbonates. A significant proportion of dissolution, 40-100%, results from oxidation of reduced metabolites such as FeS, NH+4, and Mn2+. Results suggest that 90% of the CaCO3 precipitated each year is dissolved, equivalent to a loss of ~90-190 g CaCO3 m-2 yr-1. Given the general similarity between Long Island Sound and other muddy coastal estuaries along the eastern coast of North America and elsewhere (e.g. Chesapeake Bay, Delaware Bay, Narragansett Bay, Buzzards Bay, Casco Bay), these relative flux measurements are likely to be indicative of much larger temperate regions.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2001

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  • The Journal of Marine Research, one of the oldest journals in American marine science, 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. Biological studies involving coupling between ecological and physical processes are preferred over those that report systematics. The editors strive always to serve authors and readers in the academic oceanographic community by publishing papers vital to the marine research in the long and rich tradition of the Sears Foundation for Marine Research. We welcome you to the Journal of Marine Research.
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