Submarine canyons are often hotspots of biomass and productivity in the deep sea. However, the majority of deep-sea canyons remain poorly sampled. Using a multi-tracer approach, results from a detailed geochemical investigation from a year-long sediment trap deployment reveals details concerning the source, transport, and fate of particulate matter to the depositional zone (1318 m) of Baltimore Canyon on the US Mid-Atlantic Bight (MAB). Both organic biomarker composition (sterol and n-alkanes) and bulk characteristics (δ13C, Δ14C, Chl-a) suggest that on an annual basis particulate matter from marine and terrestrially-derived organic matter are equally important. However, elevated Chlorophyll-a and sterol concentrations during the spring sampling period highlight the seasonal influx of relatively fresh phytodetritus. In addition, the contemporaneous increase in the particle reactive elements cadmium (Cd) and molybdenum (Mo) in the spring suggest increased scavenging, aggregation, and sinking of biomass during seasonal blooms in response to enhanced surface production within the nutricline. While internal waves within the canyon resuspend sediment between 200 and 600 m, creating a nepheloid layer rich in lithogenic material, near-bed sediment remobilization in the canyon depositional zone is minimal. Instead, vertical transport and lateral transport across the continental margin are the dominant processes driving seasonal input of particulate matter. In turn, seasonal variability in deposited particulate organic matter may be linked to benthic faunal composition and ecosystem scale carbon cycling.
|Title||Seasonal variability in particulate matter source and composition to the depositional zone of Baltimore Canyon, U.S. Mid-Atlantic Bight|
|Authors||Nancy G. Prouty, Furu Mienis, P. Campbell, E. Brendan Roark, Andrew Davies, Craig M. Robertson, Gerard Duineveld, Steve W. Ross, M. Rhodes, Amanda W.J. Demopoulos|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Deep-Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center|