Seasonal investigations of dissolved organic carbon dynamics in the Tamar Estuary, UK

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A high temperature catalytic oxidation (HTCO) technique was used to measure dissolved organic carbon (DOC) during seasonal surveys of the Tamar Estuary, U.K. At the time of the programme, the field of DOC analysis had been plagued by numerous analytical difficulties. However, using thorough calibration of the analytical systems and the systematic analysis of an internal reference material, a valuable estuarine DOC data set was produced. The range of DOC concentrations observed (478-110 mu M C) is consistent with the published data for riverine and coastal sea waters respectively. The Tamar Estuary is a freshwater DOC-dominated system, with strong correlation between lateral DOC distribution and salinity. However, mixing behaviour was not strictly conservative. During tidal cycle studies at a fixed station, DOC concentrations appeared to be uncoupled from salinity, and were inversely related to turbidity. It is concluded that tidally-induced resuspension of bottom sediments provided the dominant control mechanism for DOC concentration. The Tamar Estuary shows contrasting behaviour to the larger, more heavily impacted, Severn Estuary. Hence it is likely that the behaviour of DOC in estuaries cannot be classified as typical per se, but is a function of the natural and anthropogenic characteristics of the catchment and hydrology. (C) 1999 Academic Press.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)891-908
Number of pages18
JournalESTUAR COAST SHELF S
Volume49
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1999

Keywords

  • BIOGEOCHEMISTRY
  • NITROGEN
  • BLOOM
  • ANALYZER
  • ACIDS
  • Marine & Freshwater Biology
  • MATTER
  • MARINE-SEDIMENTS
  • ATLANTIC
  • DOC
  • Oceanography
  • RIVER

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