A new look at the multi-G model for organic carbon degradation in surface marine sediments for coupled benthic-pelagic simulations of the global ocean

Stolpovsky, Konstantin, Dale, Andrew W. and Wallmann, Klaus (2018) A new look at the multi-G model for organic carbon degradation in surface marine sediments for coupled benthic-pelagic simulations of the global ocean Biogeosciences (BG), 15 . pp. 3391-3407. DOI 10.5194/bg-15-3391-2018.

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Abstract

The kinetics of particulate organic carbon (POC) mineralization in marine surface sediments is not well constrained. This creates considerable uncertainties when benthic processes are considered in global biogeochemical or Earth system circulation models to simulate climate-ocean interactions and biogeochemical tracers in the ocean. In an attempt to improve our understanding of the rate and depth distribution of organic carbon mineralization in bioturbated (0–10 cm) sediments, we parameterized a 1-D diagenetic model that simulates the reactivity of three discrete POC pools at global scale (a "multi-G" model). The rate constants of the three reactive classes (highly reactive, reactive, refractory) are fixed and determined to be 70 yr−1, 0.5 yr−1, and ~0.001 yr−1, respectively, based on the Martin curve model for pelagic POC degradation. In contrast to previous approaches, the reactivity of the organic material degraded in the seafloor is continuous with, and set by, the apparent reactivity of material sinking through the water column. The model is able to simulate a global database (185 stations) of benthic oxygen and nitrate fluxes across the sediment-water interface in addition to porewater oxygen and nitrate distributions and organic carbon burial efficiencies. It is further consistent with degradation experiments of fresh phytoplankton. We propose that an important yet mostly overlooked consideration in previous upscaling approaches is the proportion of the relative reactive POC classes reaching the seafloor in addition to their reactivity. The approach presented is applicable to both steady-state and non-steady state scenarios, and links POC degradation kinetics in sedimentary environments to water depth and the POC rain rate to the seafloor.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: BACTERIAL SULFATE REDUCTION; OXYGEN MINIMUM ZONE; DEEP-SEA SEDIMENTS; BIOGEOCHEMICAL MODEL; SPECULATIVE SYNTHESIS; MATTER PRESERVATION; ATMOSPHERIC CO2; NORTH PACIFIC; TRANSPORT; REMINERALIZATION
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-MG Marine Geosystems
OceanRep > SFB 754
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.5194/bg-15-3391-2018
ISSN: 1726-4170
Projects: SFB754
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2017 12:43
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2018 10:27
URI: http://eprints.uni-kiel.de/id/eprint/39607

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