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Peat formation processes through the millennia in tidal marshes of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, California, USA

September 1, 2011

The purpose of this study was to determine peat formation processes throughout the millennia in four tidal marshes in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Peat cores collected at each site were analyzed for bulk density, loss on ignition, and percent organic carbon. Core data and spline fit age-depth models were used to estimate inorganic sedimentation, organic accumulation, and carbon sequestration rates in the marshes. Bulk density and percent organic matter content of peat fluctuated through time at all sites, suggesting that peat formation processes are dynamic and responsive to watershed conditions. The balance between inorganic sedimentation and organic accumulation at the sites also varied through time, indicating that marshes may rely more strongly on either norganic or organic matter for peat formation at particular times in their existence. Mean carbon sequestration rates found in this study (0.38-0.79 Mg C ha-1 year-1) were similar to other long-term estimates for temperate peatlands.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2011
Title Peat formation processes through the millennia in tidal marshes of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, California, USA
DOI 10.1007/s12237-011-9393-7
Authors Judith Z. Drexler
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Estuaries and Coasts
Series Number
Index ID 70146649
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization California Water Science Center