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Abstract

The sandy sediments that blanket the inner shelf are situated in a zone where nutrient input from land and strong mixing produce maximum primary production and tight coupling between water column and sedimentary processes. The high permeability of the shelf sands renders them susceptible to pressure gradients generated by hydrodynamic and biological forces that modulate spatial and temporal patterns of water circulation through these sediments. The resulting dynamic three-dimensional patterns of particle and solute distribution generate a broad spectrum of biogeochemical reaction zones that facilitate effective decomposition of the pelagic and benthic primary production products. The intricate coupling between the water column and sediment makes it challenging to quantify the production and decomposition processes and the resultant fluxes in permeable shelf sands. Recent technical developments have led to insights into the high biogeochemical and biological activity of these permeable sediments and their role in the global cycles of matter.

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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-marine-051413-012706
2014-01-03
2024-06-13
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  • Article Type: Review Article
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