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Sediment deposition and accretion in a Mid-Atlantic (U.S.A.) tidal freshwater marsh

Neubauer, S. C., Anderson, I. C., Constantine, José Antonio and Kuehl, S. A. 2002. Sediment deposition and accretion in a Mid-Atlantic (U.S.A.) tidal freshwater marsh. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 54 (4) , pp. 713-727. 10.1006/ecss.2001.0854

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Sediment deposition and accretion rates in a Virginia tidal freshwater marsh were measured to provide insight to the processes and time scales that are important for maintaining marsh surface elevation. Short-term sediment deposition rates (biweekly to monthly) measured using sediment collection tiles were spatially and temporally variable. Rates were greatest near a tidal creak and decreased along a transect extending toward the marsh interior. When integrated across the entire marsh, annual sediment deposition (as organic carbon) averaged 517±353 g C m−2 y−1 and was sufficient to balance the effects of existing relative sea level rise and marsh respiration rates. At the creekbank, the highest deposition rates were measured during summer although rates were relatively constant over time at the interior sites. Similar spatial and temporal patterns were obtained when deposition rates were calculated from 7Be inventories (monthly time scale). Sediment inventories of7 Be were greater than those supported atmospherically, indicating that the spatial patterns of sedimentation were not due to sediment erosion and redistribution within the marsh. Accretion rates calculated from 137Cs (decadal scale) and14 C dating (centuries to millennia) were substantially less than annual deposition rates, with a decrease in accretion rate with increasing time scale. Mineralization rates of recently deposited sediments (measured as O2 consumption) indicated that sediment metabolism could potentially remove ∼30% of recently deposited carbon within one month of deposition. The metabolism of a labile sediment fraction could explain a portion of the observed decrease in accretion rate with increasing time scale, with the remainder due to periodic storm-induced erosion and historical variability in sediment deposition rates.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Ocean Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QE Geology
Uncontrolled Keywords: sedimentation; accretion; respiration; beryllium-7; cesium-137; carbon-14; tidal freshwater marsh; Virginia
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0272-7714
Last Modified: 23 Mar 2017 02:50

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