Control of organic matter on the magnetic properties of surficial marine sediments. A simple kinetic model
Monday, 15 December 2014
Magnetic properties of marine sediments in the Galician Rias, in NW Spain, have shown that in these shallow marine settings the magnetic mineral assemblage, and its bulk magnetic properties, is controlled by grain size, wave climate, and organic matter content. The grain size effect is explained by concentration of diamagnetic biogenic carbonates in the coarse fraction, which dilutes the concentration-dependent magnetic properties. Furthermore, this effect is enhanced by the hydrodynamic sorting of the heavy minerals, like magnetite, that become concentrated in the finer fractions. Waves on the other hand concentrate the coarser bioclasts in the shallower areas along the coastal margins of the rias, and consequently these areas show the lowest magnetic mineral concentrations. Magnetic minerals are therefore more abundant in the deeper central axis and towards the external, more oceanic, areas of the rias. Another effect of waves is periodic resuspension of fine sediments, which allows them to be reoxigenated preventing the onset of reductive diagenesis. This effect is best seen in sediment cores, where organic matter remineralization promotes dissolution of magnetic iron oxides and oxyhydroxides. Areas where resuspension is frequent and/or deeper areas where sediments stay in the water column for longer have lower degrees of reductive early diagenesis. In addition to its downcore effect, organic matter also controls the magnetic properties of surficial sediments. Our results in the Ria de Muros, at the north of our study area, have shown that a simple kinetic model is enough to quantify the effect of organic matter content on the dissolution of magnetite. We have found that a Total Organic Carbon increase of 0.35% reduces magnetite concentration of surface samples by half. These effects observed in the Ria de Muros have also been confirmed for published results in the southern Rias Baixas previously studied by our research group.