Arctic Nearshore Sediment Dynamics—An Example from Herschel Island—Qikiqtaruk, Canada

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<jats:p>Increasing arctic coastal erosion rates imply a greater release of sediments and organic matter into the coastal zone. With 213 sediment samples taken around Herschel Island—Qikiqtaruk, Canadian Beaufort Sea, we aimed to gain new insights on sediment dynamics and geochemical properties of a shallow arctic nearshore zone. Spatial characteristics of nearshore sediment texture (moderately to poorly sorted silt) are dictated by hydrodynamic processes, but ice-related processes also play a role. We determined organic matter (OM) distribution and inferred the origin and quality of organic carbon by C/N ratios and stable carbon isotopes δ13C. The carbon content was higher offshore and in sheltered areas (mean: 1.0 wt. %., S.D.: 0.9) and the C/N ratios also showed a similar spatial pattern (mean: 11.1, S.D.: 3.1), while the δ13C (mean: −26.4‰ VPDB, S.D.: 0.4) distribution was more complex. We compared the geochemical parameters of our study with terrestrial and marine samples from other studies using a bootstrap approach. Sediments of the current study contained 6.5 times and 1.8 times less total organic carbon than undisturbed and disturbed terrestrial sediments, respectively. Therefore, degradation of OM and separation of carbon pools take place on land and continue in the nearshore zone, where OM is leached, mineralized, or transported beyond the study area.</jats:p>

Item Type
Publication Status
Published online
Eprint ID
DOI 10.3390/jmse10111589

Cite as
Radosavljevic, B. , Lantuit, H. , Knoblauch, C. , Couture, N. , Herzschuh, U. and Fritz, M. (2022): Arctic Nearshore Sediment Dynamics—An Example from Herschel Island—Qikiqtaruk, Canada , Journal of Marine Science and Engineering, 10 (11), p. 1589 . doi: 10.3390/jmse10111589



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