Istituto di Scienze Marine     
Tesi T., Langone L., Goni M., Wheatcroft R., Miserocchi S., Bertotti L. Early diagenesis of recently deposited organic matter: A 9-yr time-series study of a flood deposit. In: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, vol. 83 pp. 19 - 36. PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, THE BOULEVARD, LANGFORD LANE, KIDLINGTON, OXFORD OX5 1GB, ENGLAND, 2012.
stract: In Fall 2000, the Po River (Italy) experienced a 100-yr return period flood that resulted in a 1-25 cm-thick deposit in the adjacent prodelta (10-25 m water depth). In the following years, numerous post-depositional perturbations occurred including bioturbation, reworking by waves with heights exceeding 5 m, as well as periods of extremely high and low sediment supply. Cores collected in the central prodelta after the Fall 2000 flood and over the following 9 yr, allowed characterization of the event-strata in their initial state and documentation of their subsequent evolution. Sedimentological characteristics were investigated using X-radiographs and sediment texture analyses, whereas the composition of sedimentary organic matter (OM) was studied via bulk and biomarker analyses, including organic carbon (OC), total nitrogen (TN), carbon stable isotope composition (delta C-13), lignin phenols, cutin-products, p-hydroxy benzenes, benzoic acids, dicarboxylic acids, and fatty acids. The 9-yr time-series analysis indicated that roughly the lower half of the original event bed was preserved in the sediment record. Conversely, the upper half of the deposit experienced significant alterations including bioturbation, addition of new material, as well as coarsening. Comparison of the recently deposited material with 9-yr old preserved strata represented a unique natural laboratory to investigate the diagenesis of sedimentary OM in a non-steady system. Bulk data indicated that OC and TN were degraded at similar rates (loss similar to 17%) whereas biomarkers exhibited a broad spectrum of reactivities (loss from similar to 6% to similar to 60%) indicating selective preservation during early diagenesis. Given the relevance of episodic sedimentation in several margins, this study has demonstrated the utility of event-response and time-series sampling of the seabed for understanding the early diagenesis in non-steady conditions. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
DOI: 10.1016/j.gca.2011.12.026

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