Particle Flux across the Mid-European Continental Margin

Antia, Avan, von Bodungen, Bodo and Peinert, Rolf (1999) Particle Flux across the Mid-European Continental Margin Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers, 46 . pp. 1999-2024. DOI 10.1016/S0967-0637(99)00041-2.

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Results are presented from particle flux studies using sediment trap and current meter moorings along a transect at the European continental margin at 49°N within the EU-funded Ocean Margin Exchange (OMEX) project. Two moorings were placed, at the mid- and outer slope in water depths of 1500 and 3660 m, with traps at 600 and 1050 m and at 580, 1440 and 3220 m, respectively. Residual currents at the mid-slope follow the slope contour, whereas seasonal off-slope flow was registered at the outer slope. At 600 m on the slope fluxes are similar to those in the abyssal North Atlantic. The flux of all components (bulk dry weight, particulate organic and inorganic carbon, lithogenic matter and opal) increased with water depth. Highest fluxes were recorded at 1440 m at the outer slope, where off-slope residual currents mediate particle export. The injection of biogenic and lithogenic particles below the depth of winter mixing results in the export of particles from shallower waters. Calculated lateral fluxes of particulate organic carbon exceed the primary flux by over a factor of 2 at 1440 m on the outer slope. Estimated lateral fluxes of suspended particulate matter in the water column and intermediate nepheloid layers at the outer slope are potentially large compared to sinking fluxes measured by sediment traps. A comparison is made of particle flux at three continental margin sites and two sites in the adjacent open North Atlantic, from which it is seen that bulk and organic matter flux increases exponentially with proximity to the shelf break. The percentage contribution of particulate organic carbon to biogenic fluxes increases from a mean of 5.7% in the abyssal N. Atlantic to 13.9% at the continental margins

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Particle flux; Continental margins; Lateral flux; Suspended particulate flux; Carbon export
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-BI Biological Oceanography
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1016/S0967-0637(99)00041-2
ISSN: 0967-0637
Projects: OMEX
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2008 17:24
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2016 10:32

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