Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Science. 2007 Jun 1;316(5829):1325-8.

Physical model for the decay and preservation of marine organic carbon.

Author information

  • 1Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA. dhr@mit.edu

Abstract

Degradation of marine organic carbon provides a major source of atmospheric carbon dioxide, whereas preservation in sediments results in accumulation of oxygen. These processes involve the slow decay of chemically recalcitrant compounds and physical protection. To assess the importance of physical protection, we constructed a reaction-diffusion model in which organic matter differs only in its accessibility to microbial degradation but not its intrinsic reactivity. The model predicts that organic matter decays logarithmically with time t and that decay rates decrease approximately as 0.2 x t(-1) until burial. Analyses of sediment-core data are consistent with these predictions.

PMID:
17540901
DOI:
10.1126/science.1138211
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Support Center