Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2018-152
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2018-152
22 Jan 2019
 | 22 Jan 2019
Status: this preprint has been withdrawn by the authors.

Relations of physical and biogenic reworking of sandy sediments in the southeastern North Sea

Knut Krämer, Soeren Ahmerkamp, Ulrike Schückel, Moritz Holtappels, and Christian Winter

Abstract. The reworking of sandy sediments in shallow coastal and shelf seas is mainly driven by physical forcing in the form of wave- and current-induced shear stress. As an important habitat for benthic species seeking shelter and food, the upper seafloor is also marked by intense bioturbation. Although this reworking activity is recognized as an important mechanism for the exchange of particular matter and solutes between sediment and water column, quantifications and assessments of the relative importance of physical and biogenic reworking of subtidal shelf sediments are rare.

This work presents in situ measurements of volumetric reworking rates from six different locations in the southeastern North Sea. The investigated sites cover a range of water depths between 23 and 41 m, different magnitudes of physical (wave and current) forcing and sedimentological conditions as well as different habitats and benthic communities. The measured biogenic reworking rates reach up to 14 % of physically driven reworking via bedform migration.

Comparisons with physical quantities water depth, median grain size, bottom water temperature and flow velocity reveal good correlations and allow for an approximation of the biogenic reworking rate from a combination of these readily available oceanographic parameters.

The diffusive relocation of sediment by benthic fauna also influences the topography of small scale bedforms and may reduce their height by up to 10 % in a few hours during hydrodynamically inactive conditions.

The observations show that even in an energetic environment such as the southeastern North Sea, the benthic fauna contributes an important regulating ecosystem service by overturning upper seafloor sediments. This reworking mechanism becomes particularly important in areas and during periods of sub-threshold conditions for physically driven sediment reworking.

This preprint has been withdrawn.

Publisher's note: Copernicus Publications remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims made in the text, published maps, institutional affiliations, or any other geographical representation in this preprint. The responsibility to include appropriate place names lies with the authors.
Knut Krämer, Soeren Ahmerkamp, Ulrike Schückel, Moritz Holtappels, and Christian Winter

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Interactive discussion

Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement
Knut Krämer, Soeren Ahmerkamp, Ulrike Schückel, Moritz Holtappels, and Christian Winter
Knut Krämer, Soeren Ahmerkamp, Ulrike Schückel, Moritz Holtappels, and Christian Winter

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This preprint has been withdrawn.

Short summary
The sandy seafloor in shelf seas is constantly overturned by waves and currents but also by a large number of animals searching for shelter and food. By taking a close look at the seafloor surface with the help of a laser scanner, this study evaluates their contribution to the overall reworking of sediment: It makes up as much as 14 % of the physically driven reworking. The activity of the organisms varies with the seasons and between different locations and can be estimated from physical values.