Biological early diagenesis and insolation-paced paleoproductivity signified in deep core sediment organic matter

Meilian Chen, Ji Hoon Kim, Jiyoung Choi, Yun Kyung Lee, Jin Hur*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

The dynamics of a large stock of organic matter contained in deep sediments of marginal seas plays pivotal role in global carbon cycle, yet it is poorly constrained. Here, dissolved organic matter (DOM) in sediments was investigated for core sediment up to ∼240 meters deep in the East/Japan Sea. The upper downcore profile (≤118 mbsf, or meters below seafloor) at a non-chimney site (U1) featured the exponential production of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and optically active DOM with time in the pore water above sulfate-methane-transition-zone (SMTZ), concurrent with the increases of nutrients and alkalinity, and the reduction of sulfate. Such depth profiles signify a biological pathway of the DOM production during the early diagenesis of particulate organic matter presumably dominated by sulfate reduction. Below the SMTZ, an insolation-paced oscillation of DOM in a ∼405-Kyr cycle of orbital eccentricity was observed at site U1, implying astronomically paced paleoproductivity stimulated by light availability. Furthermore, DOM dynamics of the deep sediments were likely governed by intensive humification as revealed by the less pronounced protein-like fluorescence and the lower H/C and O/C ratios below SMTZ among 15,281 formulas identified. Our findings here provide novel insights into organic matter dynamics in deep sediments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1581
JournalScientific Reports
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes

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