Millennial scale persistence of organic carbon bound to iron in Arctic marine sediments

Type Article
Date 2021-01
Language English
Author(s) Faust Johan C.1, Tessin Allyson2, Fisher Ben J.ORCID1, Zindorf Mark SebastianORCID3, Papadaki Sonia4, Hendry Katharine R.ORCID4, Doyle Katherine A.1, März Christian1
Affiliation(s) 1 : School of Earth and Environment, The University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
2 : Department of Geology, Kent State University, Kent, OH, USA
3 : Laboratoire Environnement Profond, Ifremer - Centre de Bretagne, Plouzané, France
4 : School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
Source Nature Communications (2041-1723) (Springer Science and Business Media LLC), 2021-01 , Vol. 12 , N. 1 , P. 275 (9p.)
DOI 10.1038/s41467-020-20550-0
WOS© Times Cited 3

Burial of organic material in marine sediments represents a dominant natural mechanism of long-term carbon sequestration globally, but critical aspects of this carbon sink remain unresolved. Investigation of surface sediments led to the proposition that on average 10-20% of sedimentary organic carbon is stabilised and physically protected against microbial degradation through binding to reactive metal (e.g. iron and manganese) oxides. Here we examine the long-term efficiency of this rusty carbon sink by analysing the chemical composition of sediments and pore waters from four locations in the Barents Sea. Our findings show that the carbon-iron coupling persists below the uppermost, oxygenated sediment layer over thousands of years. We further propose that authigenic coprecipitation is not the dominant factor of the carbon-iron bounding in these Arctic shelf sediments and that a substantial fraction of the organic carbon is already bound to reactive iron prior deposition on the seafloor.

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Faust Johan C., Tessin Allyson, Fisher Ben J., Zindorf Mark Sebastian, Papadaki Sonia, Hendry Katharine R., Doyle Katherine A., März Christian (2021). Millennial scale persistence of organic carbon bound to iron in Arctic marine sediments. Nature Communications, 12(1), 275 (9p.). Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :