Istituto di Scienze Marine     
Pasqual C., Goni M. A., Tesi T., Sanchez-Vidal A., Calafat A., Canals M. Composition and provenance of terrigenous organic matter transported along submarine canyons in the Gulf of Lion (NW Mediterranean Sea). In: Progress in Oceanography, vol. 118 pp. 81 - 94. PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, THE BOULEVARD, LANGFORD LANE, KIDLINGTON, OXFORD OX5 1GB, ENGLAND, 2013.
Previous projects in the Gulf of Lion have investigated the path of terrigenous material in the Rhone deltaic system, the continental shelf and the nearby canyon heads. This study focuses on the slope region of the Gulf of Lion to further describe particulate exchanges with ocean's interior through submarine canyons and atmospheric inputs. Nine sediment traps were deployed from the heads to the mouths of Lacaze-Duthiers and Cap de Creus submarine canyons and on the southern open slope from October 2005 to October 2006. Sediment trap samples were analyzed by CuO oxidation to investigate spatial and temporal variability in the yields and compositional characteristics of terrigenous biomarkers such as ligninderived phenols and cutin acids. Sediment trap data show that the Dense Shelf Water Cascading event that took place in the months of winter 2006 (January, February and March) had a profound impact on particle fluxes in both canyons. This event was responsible for the majority of lignin phenol (55.4%) and cutin acid (42.8%) inputs to submarine canyons, with lignin compositions similar to those measured along the mid- and outer-continental shelf, which is consistent with the resuspension and lateral transfer of unconsolidated shelf sediment to the canyons. The highest lithogenic-normalized lignin derived phenols contents in sediment trap samples were found during late spring and summer at all stations (i.e., 193.46 mu g VP g(-1) lithogenic at deep slope station), when river flow, wave energy and total particle fluxes were relatively low. During this period, lignin compositions were characterized by elevated cinnamyl to vanillyl phenol ratios (>3) at almost all stations, high p-coumaric to ferulic acid ratios (>3) and high yields of cutin acids relative to vanillyl phenols (>1), all trends that are consistent with high pollen inputs. Our results suggest marked differences in the sources and transport processes responsible for terrigenous material export along submarine canyons, mainly consisting of fluvial and shelf sediments during winter and atmospheric dust inputs during spring and summer. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
DOI: 10.1016/j.pocean.2013.07.013

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