The significance of organic carbon and sediment surface area to the benthic biogeochemistry of the slope and deep water environments of the northern Gulf of Mexico
MetadataShow full item record
The bioavailability of metabolizable organic matter within marine sediments is one of the more important driving mechanisms controlling benthic pelagic communities. Interactions between organic material and mineral surfaces within the sediment, such as adsorption, can cause organic matter to be unavailable for degradation by organisms; therefore for this study we have used the relationship of organic carbon-to-sediment surface area as an indicator of available organic carbon in northern Gulf of Mexico sediments. We have determined that these sediment interactions demonstrate a significant association with benthic fauna abundances; however they are not the most dominant environmental variables. It may be the combination of biogeochemical parameters, such as organic carbon content, sediment surface area, grain size, water depth and other geophysical variables, that is the ultimate control on the bioavailability of metabolizable organic matter in the northern Gulf of Mexico.
Beazley, Melanie J. (2003). The significance of organic carbon and sediment surface area to the benthic biogeochemistry of the slope and deep water environments of the northern Gulf of Mexico. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from