Carbon flux by suspended and sinking particles around the barrier reef of Palau, western Pacific
Limnol. Oceangr. 43(8), 1998, 1883-l893 | DOI: 10.4319/lo.19188.8.131.523
ABSTRACT: Suspended and sinking particles were studied around a barrier reef of the Palau Islands in the western Pacific. Concentrations of particulate organic carbon (POC), particulate organic nitrogen (PON), and chlorophyll a were high in reef waters and decreased toward the open ocean. At the reef edge, concentrations of organic particles in outgoing waters were higher than those in incoming waters, indicating net export of organic matter. Sediment trap observations conducted off the barrier reef showed a larger vertical flux of POC at an inshore station (2.5 km off the reef edge) than that at an offshore station (20 km), attributable to the net export of organic particles. Organic/inorganic carbon ratios of particles trapped at a depth of 45 m in the lagoon were smaller than those of suspended particles in surface water, suggesting a rapid decomposition of organic matter during sedimentation and a resuspension of carbonate-dominant bottom sediments.