Spatial distribution, compositional pattern and source apportionment of n-alkanes in surface sediments of the Bohai Sea, Yellow Sea, and East China Sea and implications of carbon sink

Zou, Y.; Wang, C.; Liu, X.; Wang, H.

Marine Pollution Bulletin 178: 113639


ISSN/ISBN: 1879-3363
PMID: 35413503
Accession: 079837279

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China's marginal seas (CMSs, including the Bohai Sea, Yellow Sea, East China Sea) are a significant sink for both terrestrial organic matter (OM) and marine OM, and they play an important role in the global biogeochemical carbon cycle. The spatial distribution and origin of organic matter based on n-alkanes in the surface sediments of CMSs and the implications of carbon sinks were comparatively analyzed. The n-alkane content in surface sediment from the Bohai Sea was higher than that of the Yellow Sea and the East China Sea. The spatial distribution trends of marine and terrestrial organic matter are obviously different in the surface sediments of China's marginal seas. The n-alkanes in the sediments of the Yellow Sea and the East China Sea were mainly derived from terrestrial higher plants, and land-based influence gradually decreased from the near shore to the open sea. Higher concentration of terrigenous OM are concentrated nearshore, especially near estuaries, such as the Yellow River Estuary, the Old Yellow River Estuary and the Yangtze River Estuary. The input of n-alkanes from woody plants in the Bohai Sea area was slightly higher than that of herbaceous plants, and the input of herbaceous plants in the Yellow Sea and East China Sea was slightly dominant. The distribution of marine organic matter is controlled by marine productivity and the sedimentary environment. Due to climate change, the decomposition and enrichment of organic matter also show the climate effect of carbon molecular combinations. As a semiclosed sea area, the Bohai Sea was beneficial to the growth and reproduction of marine phytoplankton. From the perspective of petroleum pollution, the Bohai Sea was the most serious, followed by the Yellow Sea, and the East China Sea was the lightest. The carbon burial amount of terrestrial organic matter accounts for approximately 7% of the terrestrial organic matter burial amount of global marginal sea sediments, indicating that China's marginal sea plays an important role in the global carbon cycle. The result provide a basis for further understanding the source pattern and burial preservation of sedimentary organic matter in this sea area.