On flocculation and settling of fine-grained sediment in Arctic waters
Thorbjørn Andersen, Professor, IGN/ CENPERM
Transport of fine-grained sediment from land to sea in the Arctic environment is also responsible for the major part of the transport of for example organic carbon, nutrients and heavy metals as these are predominantly attached to fine organic and inorganic particles. The transport potential is dependent on the flocculation and subsequent increase in settling velocity of the suspended material.
Glacially derived fine-grained sediments, with a short travel-time from the glacier or icecap to the sea, have extraordinarily low contents of both clay minerals and organic matter and one implication is that the flocculation dynamics could be quite different from other estuarine and marine environments. To study this, field measurements have been carried out in Disko Fjord, Kangerlussuaq fjord, Sermilik Fjord and Young Sound, complemented with controlled laboratory experiments using filtered and un-filtered seawater to study the effect of phytoplankton on sediment settling.
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