Vertical fluxes of particulate organic matter were measured with sediment traps above and below the chemocline of Big Soda Lake to define the seasonality of sinking losses from the mixolimnion and determine the effectiveness of the chemocline (pycnocline) as a barrier to the sinking of biogenic particles. Seasonality of sedimentation rates reflected seasonal changes in the community of autotrophs. During summer-autumn, when production is dominated by autotrophic bacteria, vertical fluxes were small: 100 mg C m−2 d−1 and ≅0.5 mg Chl a m−2 d−1. Following the winter diatom bloom, vertical fluxes increased markedly: ≅570 mg C m−2 d−1 and 23 mg Chl a m−2 d−1. The bulk of the seston (> 80%) and particulate carbon (≅ 65%) sinking to the chemocline passed through it, showing that this very sharp density discontinuity does not effectively retard the sinking of particulate matter. However sinking losses of particulate carbon were generally small (≅10%) relative to previous measures of primary productivity, indicating that the mixolimnion is a zone of efficient carbon cycling. Exceptions occurred following the winter bloom when sinking losses were a larger fraction (≅40%) of productivity.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Big Soda Lake (Nevada). 4. Vertical fluxes of particulate matter: Seasonality and variations across the chemocline|
|Series title||Limnology and Oceanography|
|Contributing office(s)||Toxic Substances Hydrology Program|