Permeability of intertidal sandflats

Impact of temporal variability on sediment metabolism

E. Zetsche*, M. T. Bulling, U. Witte

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The effects of sediment permeability on sediment oxygen consumption (SOC) in an intertidal permeable sandflat were studied over a 1-year period. Our study demonstrates that temporal variation in sediment metabolism was not only driven by temperature, but also changes in sediment permeability and total carbon content over time. High SOC rates in the summer months (seasonal mean 36.5 mmol m(-2) d(-1)) could be attributed to high temperatures affecting metabolic processes, the rapid turnover of labile organic material and the presence of large amounts of microphytobenthos and their exudates in interstitial pore spaces. The resultant clogging of pores lowered sediment permeabilities and led to the observation of increasing SOC rates at decreasing permeabilities. Despite higher permeabilities, oxygen consumption rates in winter (seasonal mean 17.3 mmol m(-2) d(-1)) were less than half those measured in the summer, reflecting the presence of more persistent refractory material and lower temperatures. During the winter, a major storm event reworked the sediment and significantly changed the permeability, affecting SOC rates. As sediment permeability rose by similar to 25%, SOC rates were increased by similar to 35% in the month after the event compared to the previous month. Our results show that temporal variation, not only in temperature and carbon content, but also in sediment permeability, affects sediment metabolism and that resuspension and storm events are necessary to unclog systems and maintain high remineralisation rates in organically poor permeable sands. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-50
Number of pages10
JournalContinental Shelf Research
Volume42
Early online date7 May 2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2012

Keywords

  • Tidal flat
  • Sand
  • Sediment permeability
  • Sediment oxygen consumption
  • Clogging
  • Scotland
  • PORE-WATER EXCHANGE
  • SOUTHERN BALTIC SEA
  • NORTH-SEA
  • MINERALIZATION RATES
  • ADVECTIVE TRANSPORT
  • COASTAL SEDIMENT
  • MARINE-SEDIMENTS
  • SOLUTE EXCHANGE
  • GRAIN-SIZE
  • WADDEN SEA

Cite this

Permeability of intertidal sandflats : Impact of temporal variability on sediment metabolism. / Zetsche, E.; Bulling, M. T.; Witte, U.

In: Continental Shelf Research, Vol. 42, 01.07.2012, p. 41-50.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "The effects of sediment permeability on sediment oxygen consumption (SOC) in an intertidal permeable sandflat were studied over a 1-year period. Our study demonstrates that temporal variation in sediment metabolism was not only driven by temperature, but also changes in sediment permeability and total carbon content over time. High SOC rates in the summer months (seasonal mean 36.5 mmol m(-2) d(-1)) could be attributed to high temperatures affecting metabolic processes, the rapid turnover of labile organic material and the presence of large amounts of microphytobenthos and their exudates in interstitial pore spaces. The resultant clogging of pores lowered sediment permeabilities and led to the observation of increasing SOC rates at decreasing permeabilities. Despite higher permeabilities, oxygen consumption rates in winter (seasonal mean 17.3 mmol m(-2) d(-1)) were less than half those measured in the summer, reflecting the presence of more persistent refractory material and lower temperatures. During the winter, a major storm event reworked the sediment and significantly changed the permeability, affecting SOC rates. As sediment permeability rose by similar to 25{\%}, SOC rates were increased by similar to 35{\%} in the month after the event compared to the previous month. Our results show that temporal variation, not only in temperature and carbon content, but also in sediment permeability, affects sediment metabolism and that resuspension and storm events are necessary to unclog systems and maintain high remineralisation rates in organically poor permeable sands. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.",
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author = "E. Zetsche and Bulling, {M. T.} and U. Witte",
note = "Acknowledgements We thank Oceanlab staff as well as Ricardo Varela Rodriguez and Alba Hernandez Otero for their help with laboratory analysis and fieldwork. LTSEM images were kindly taken by Irvine Davidson (Scottish Oceans Institute, University of St. Andrews). We thank the Forvie National Nature Reserve, Scottish Natural Heritage, for their support and co-operation. We also thank 2 anonymous reviewers for helping to improve the manuscript.",
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AU - Zetsche, E.

AU - Bulling, M. T.

AU - Witte, U.

N1 - Acknowledgements We thank Oceanlab staff as well as Ricardo Varela Rodriguez and Alba Hernandez Otero for their help with laboratory analysis and fieldwork. LTSEM images were kindly taken by Irvine Davidson (Scottish Oceans Institute, University of St. Andrews). We thank the Forvie National Nature Reserve, Scottish Natural Heritage, for their support and co-operation. We also thank 2 anonymous reviewers for helping to improve the manuscript.

PY - 2012/7/1

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N2 - The effects of sediment permeability on sediment oxygen consumption (SOC) in an intertidal permeable sandflat were studied over a 1-year period. Our study demonstrates that temporal variation in sediment metabolism was not only driven by temperature, but also changes in sediment permeability and total carbon content over time. High SOC rates in the summer months (seasonal mean 36.5 mmol m(-2) d(-1)) could be attributed to high temperatures affecting metabolic processes, the rapid turnover of labile organic material and the presence of large amounts of microphytobenthos and their exudates in interstitial pore spaces. The resultant clogging of pores lowered sediment permeabilities and led to the observation of increasing SOC rates at decreasing permeabilities. Despite higher permeabilities, oxygen consumption rates in winter (seasonal mean 17.3 mmol m(-2) d(-1)) were less than half those measured in the summer, reflecting the presence of more persistent refractory material and lower temperatures. During the winter, a major storm event reworked the sediment and significantly changed the permeability, affecting SOC rates. As sediment permeability rose by similar to 25%, SOC rates were increased by similar to 35% in the month after the event compared to the previous month. Our results show that temporal variation, not only in temperature and carbon content, but also in sediment permeability, affects sediment metabolism and that resuspension and storm events are necessary to unclog systems and maintain high remineralisation rates in organically poor permeable sands. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

AB - The effects of sediment permeability on sediment oxygen consumption (SOC) in an intertidal permeable sandflat were studied over a 1-year period. Our study demonstrates that temporal variation in sediment metabolism was not only driven by temperature, but also changes in sediment permeability and total carbon content over time. High SOC rates in the summer months (seasonal mean 36.5 mmol m(-2) d(-1)) could be attributed to high temperatures affecting metabolic processes, the rapid turnover of labile organic material and the presence of large amounts of microphytobenthos and their exudates in interstitial pore spaces. The resultant clogging of pores lowered sediment permeabilities and led to the observation of increasing SOC rates at decreasing permeabilities. Despite higher permeabilities, oxygen consumption rates in winter (seasonal mean 17.3 mmol m(-2) d(-1)) were less than half those measured in the summer, reflecting the presence of more persistent refractory material and lower temperatures. During the winter, a major storm event reworked the sediment and significantly changed the permeability, affecting SOC rates. As sediment permeability rose by similar to 25%, SOC rates were increased by similar to 35% in the month after the event compared to the previous month. Our results show that temporal variation, not only in temperature and carbon content, but also in sediment permeability, affects sediment metabolism and that resuspension and storm events are necessary to unclog systems and maintain high remineralisation rates in organically poor permeable sands. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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KW - Sediment oxygen consumption

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KW - Scotland

KW - PORE-WATER EXCHANGE

KW - SOUTHERN BALTIC SEA

KW - NORTH-SEA

KW - MINERALIZATION RATES

KW - ADVECTIVE TRANSPORT

KW - COASTAL SEDIMENT

KW - MARINE-SEDIMENTS

KW - SOLUTE EXCHANGE

KW - GRAIN-SIZE

KW - WADDEN SEA

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DO - 10.1016/j.csr.2012.04.020

M3 - Article

VL - 42

SP - 41

EP - 50

JO - Continental Shelf Research

JF - Continental Shelf Research

SN - 0278-4343

ER -