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Quantifying tidally driven benthic oxygen exchange across permeable sediments: An aquatic eddy correlation study

Sommer, Stefan
Lorke, Andreas
Glud, Ronnie N.
Linke, Peter
Published in Journal of Geophysical Research. C: Oceans. 2014, vol. 119
Abstract Continental shelves are predominately (∼70%) covered with permeable, sandy sediments. While identified as critical sites for intense oxygen, carbon, and nutrient turnover, constituent exchange across permeable sediments remains poorly quantified. The central North Sea largely consists of permeable sediments and has been identified as increasingly at risk for developing hypoxia. Therefore, we investigate the benthic O2 exchange across the permeable North Sea sediments using a combination of in situ microprofiles, a benthic chamber, and aquatic eddy correlation. Tidal bottom currents drive the variable sediment O2 penetration depth (from ∼3 to 8 mm) and the concurrent turbulence-driven 25-fold variation in the benthic sediment O2 uptake. The O2 flux and variability were reproduced using a simple 1-D model linking the benthic turbulence to the sediment pore water exchange. The high O2 flux variability results from deeper sediment O2 penetration depths and increased O2 storage during high velocities, which is then utilized during low-flow periods. The study reveals that the benthic hydrodynamics, sediment permeability, and pore water redox oscillations are all intimately linked and crucial parameters determining the oxygen availability. These parameters must all be considered when evaluating mineralization pathways of organic matter and nutrients in permeable sediments.
Keywords Eddy correlationPermeable sedimentsBenthic oxygen exchangeTurbulenceNorth Sea
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MCGINNIS, Daniel Frank et al. Quantifying tidally driven benthic oxygen exchange across permeable sediments: An aquatic eddy correlation study. In: Journal of Geophysical Research. C: Oceans, 2014, vol. 119. doi: 10.1002/2014JC010303

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Deposited on : 2014-11-12

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