National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce

[Full Text]

FY 1981

Distribution and elemental composition of suspended particulate matter in Norton Sound and the northeast Bering Sea Shelf: Implications for Mn and Zn recycling in coastal waters

Feely, R.A., G.J. Massoth, and A.J. Paulson

Chapter 20 in Eastern Bering Sea Shelf: Oceanography and Resources, D.W. Hood and J.A. Calder (eds.), Vol. 1, USDOC/NOAA/OMPA, 321–337 (1981)

The distribution and elemental composition of suspended particulate matter in Norton Sound and the northeastern Bering Sea shelf were studied in July 1979. Samples were analyzed for total suspended matter and particulate C, N, Mg, Al, Si, K, Ca, Ti, Cr, Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu, and Zn. The results show that the bulk of suspended material in Norton Sound consists of sedimentary material discharged from the Yukon River and resuspended bottom sediments. The Yukon River material enters the sound from the southwest, is transported north and northeast around the perimeter of the sound, and exits from the northwest. The concentrations of the major and trace elements in the particulate matter and their elemental ratios with aluminum indicate that: K, Ca, Ti, Cr, Fe, Ni, and Cu are primarily associated with aluminosilicate material derived from the Yukon River and resuspended sediments, and C and N are primarily associated with terrestrial organic material in estuarine samples and marine organic material in offshore samples. Significant enrichments of Mn and Zn, observed in the offshore samples, are attributed to Mn recycling in the sediments followed by precipitation of Mn onto particulate phases in the water column, with the Mn oxyhydroxides scavenging Zn.

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