Dissolved organic matter and dissolved inorganic chemical species in anoxic pore water from Mangrove Lake, Bermuda sediments were studied to evaluate the role of pore water in the early diagenesis of organic matter. Dissolved sulphate, titration alkalinity, phosphate, and ammonia concentration versus depth profiles were typical of many nearshore clastic sediments and indicated sulphate reduction in the upper 100 cm of sediment. The dissolved organic matter in the pore water was made up predominantly of large molecules, was concentrated from large quantities of pore water by using ultrafiltration and was extensively tudied by using elemental and stable carbon isotope analysis and high-resolution, solid state 13C nuclear magnetic resonance and infrared spectroscopy. The results indicate that this material has a predominantly polysaccharide-like structure and in addition contains a large amount of oxygen-containing functional groups (e.g., carboxyl groups). The 13C nulcear magnetic resonance spectra of the high-molecular-weight dissolved organic matter resemble those of the organic matter in the surface sediments of Mangrove Lake. We propose that this high-molecular-weight organic matter in pore waters represents the partially degraded, labile organic components of the sedimentary organic matter and that pore waters serve as a conduit for removal of these labile organic components from the sediments. The more refractory components are, thus, selectively preserved in the sediments as humic substances (primarily humin). ?? 1986.
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Dissolved organic matter in anoxic pore waters from Mangrove Lake, Bermuda