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Book Chapter

Biodeposition as a Factor in Sedimentation of Fine Suspended Solids in Estuaries

By
Dexter S. Haven
Dexter S. Haven
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Reinaldo Morales-Alamo
Reinaldo Morales-Alamo
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Published:
January 01, 1972

Filter feeders, such as mollusks, tunicates, and barnacles, ingest particles as small as 1 micron during their feeding process and void them in fecal pellets which range from 500 to 3,000 microns in length; these pellets settle at a much faster rate than their component particles. Feces and pseudofeces that settle to the bottom are termed biodeposits. Oyster biodeposits contain 77 to 91 percent inorganic matter, 4 to 12 percent organic carbon, and about 1.0 gram per kilogram of phosphorus. Fecal pellets are alternately deposited and resuspended by tidal currents. They settle and accumulate in areas of estuaries where the fine particles themselves would not. A portion of the biodeposits settling on sediment surfaces is mixed into subsurface deposits and may alter the textural and chemical properties of the original sediments.

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GSA Memoirs

Environmental Framework of Coastal Plain Estuaries

Bruce W. Nelson
Bruce W. Nelson
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Geological Society of America
Volume
133
ISBN print:
9780813711331
Publication date:
January 01, 1972

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