Factors affecting broadscale variation in nearshore water-column organic carbon concentrations along the Great Barrier Reef

Burrows, Ryan M., Garzon-Garcia, Alexandra, Burton, Joanne, Lewis, Stephen E., Gruber, Renee K., Brodie, Jon E., and Burford, Michele A. (2023) Factors affecting broadscale variation in nearshore water-column organic carbon concentrations along the Great Barrier Reef. Regional Studies in Marine Science, 63. 103032.

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Organic carbon is a key energy source in marine food-webs, but elevated concentrations can have negative ecological impacts. We used 12 years of marine physiochemical, climate, and near-surface sea and meteorological condition data to investigate broadscale correlates and potential drivers of variability in dissolved and particulate organic carbon (DOC and POC, respectively) concentrations in coastal waters of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), Australia. DOC concentrations were higher when salinity was lower, when the Southern Oscillation Index was more positive, and at times of greater northward wind speeds. POC concentrations were higher in shallower waters and were positively correlated with total suspended solids and chlorophyll a concentrations. Latitude was important for structuring variation in organic carbon concentrations, likely reflecting terrestrial material from rivers and broader marine processes. We conclude that variability in broadscale patterns of DOC concentrations in GBR coastal waters is likely most sensitive to material discharge from rivers as well as oceanographic and climatic processes and forcing. Variability in broadscale patterns of POC concentrations in coastal waters of the GBR is likely most affected by sediment resuspension and phytoplankton biomass accumulation.

Item ID: 79187
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2352-4855
Keywords: Great Barrier Reef, Organic matter, Phytoplankton, River plumes, Sediment, Water quality
Copyright Information: © 2023 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Date Deposited: 09 Jan 2024 01:27
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4105 Pollution and contamination > 410504 Surface water quality processes and contaminated sediment assessment @ 100%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1802 Coastal and estuarine systems and management > 180205 Measurement and assessment of estuarine water quality @ 100%
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