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      Distribution and Sources of Organic Matter in Surface Sediments of the Northern Bering and Chukchi Seas by Using Bulk and Tetraether Proxies

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          The organic matter (OM) preserved in Arctic Ocean sediments is of great importance to the global carbon budget. However, works that apply multiple proxies to determine the distribution and concentration of organic carbon (OC) in the surface sediments of the northern Bering and Chukchi Seas remain limited. Here a multiproxy approach based on bulk OM parameters and the branched vs. isoprenoid tetraether (BIT) index was used to investigate the distribution and sources of OM in the surface sediments of the northern Bering and Chukchi Seas. Binary and ternary mixing models were applied to trace the contribution of different OC sources to the total OC in the study area. The δ 13C values of the sediments provided by the binary model showed that the proportion of terrestrial OC fell in the range of 27.4%–79.8% (46.2% on average). The BIT index returned the lowest fraction (4.8%–27.3%, 12.0% on average). The ternary mixing model was employed to determine the plant-, soil-, and marine-derived fractions of the total OM. The ternary model showed that 11.5% ± 6.3%, 31.4% ± 9.5%, and 57.1% ± 12.4% of OM in the sediment of the study area was derived from soil, plants, and marine sources, respectively. The differences in OM composition between the west and east sides of the Chukchi Sea were controlled by OM inputs from key water masses ( i.e., Anadyr Water and Alaska Coastal Water), river discharge, and the nutrient supply from the Pacific inflow that supports marine productivity.

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          Author and article information

          Journal of Ocean University of China
          Science Press and Springer (China )
          14 May 2019
          01 June 2019
          : 18
          : 3
          : 563-572
          1 Key Laboratory of Marine Ecosystem and Biogeochemistry, State Oceanic Administration, Second Institute of Oceanography, Ministry of Natural Resources, Hangzhou 310012, China
          2 State Key Laboratory of Satellite Ocean Environment Dynamics, Hangzhou 310012, China
          3 Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven 27568, Germany
          Author notes
          *Corresponding author: JIN Haiyan
          Copyright © Ocean University of China, Science Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2019.

          The copyright to this article, including any graphic elements therein (e.g. illustrations, charts, moving images), is hereby assigned for good and valuable consideration to the editorial office of Journal of Ocean University of China, Science Press and Springer effective if and when the article is accepted for publication and to the extent assignable if assignability is restricted for by applicable law or regulations (e.g. for U.S. government or crown employees).

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