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The marine geochemistry of phosphorus links the burial rate of organic carbon in marine sediments to the oxygen content of the atmosphere and may serve as a major component of the system that controls atmospheric oxygen. The return flux of phosphate from marine sediments to seawater is an important part of the marine phosphorus cycle. This paper examines the relationship between the return flux of phosphate and the oxidation state of marine sediments, a necessary preliminary step in defining the efficacy of the oxygen control mechanism.

The diffusive return flux of phosphate from marine sediments to overlying bottom waters...

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