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Benthicepelagic coupling and postdepositional processes as revealed by the distribution of opal in sediments: The case of the Rı´a de Vigo (NW Iberian Peninsula)

AuthorsBernárdez, Patricia CSIC ORCID; Francés, G.; Prego, R. CSIC ORCID
Surface and subsurface sediments
Biosiliceous flux
Issue Date2006
CitationEstuarine Coastal and Shelf Science 68: 271-281 (2006)
AbstractOpal concentrations in dry bulk sediment were measured in 43 sampling stations in the Ría de Vigo at 0e1, 1e2, 4e5, 10e11 and 14e15 cm sediment depths. The amount of opal was correlated with the biogenic silicon flux to the sediment obtained by means of a box model. The biosiliceous flux to the sediment (annual mean) is in good agreement with the content of opal found in the uppermost oxic layer, revealing that pelagic primary production is the main factor controlling the biogenic silica content in surface sediments. This correlation is illustrated by the equation: Opal (wt.%) ¼ 0.103BSiF þ 0.414 (R2 ¼ 0.95) where BSiF is the biogenic silicon flux to the sediment in g Si m-2 year-1. In the innermost part of the ría, i.e. San Simón Inlet, the content of opal is higher than predicted by the equation, since other biogenic silica sources to the sediment may be involved, as benthic diatoms proliferation or freshwater diatoms input. Elevated percentages recorded in the inner ría in the subsuperficial sediment respond to the establishment of suboxiceanoxic conditions that enhance the preservation of opal. The input of faecal pellets to the surface sediment derived from mussel rafts also controls the opal distribution and concentration in the ría.
Description11 páginas, 5 figuras, 1 tabla
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2006.02.008
Appears in Collections:(IIM) Artículos
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