Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 04 Issue 01

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Volume 04, No. 1
Pages 27 - 32


Biogeochemical Processes in Amazon Shelf Sediments

Robert C. AllerJosephine Y. Aller Neal E. BlairJames E. MackinPeter D. RudeIan StupakoffSambasiva PatchineelamSusan E. Boehme Bastiaan Knoppers
First Paragraph

Each year the Amazon River delivers approximately 1 billion metric tons of sediment to the equatorial Atlantic (Meade et al., 1985). A portion of this debris is highly weathered and contains abundant reactive Fe, Mn, AI, and Si oxides. The associated terrestrial organic matter is biologically refractory (Hedges et al., 1986). Upon entering the Amazon Shelf region, particles are exposed to seawater brine, mixed with labile planktonic organic matter, and incorporated into the seabed where a variety of geochemical reactions take place. Major research efforts within the AmasSeds Project include elucidating the types and rates of these diagenetic reactions (particularly those associated with the decomposition of organic matter), their governing factors, and their influence on the properties of overlying water and preserved deposits.


Aller, R.C., J.Y. Aller, N.E. Blair, J.E. Mackin, P.D. Rude, I. Stupakoff, S. Patchineelam, S.E. Boehme, and B. Knoppers. 1991. Biogeochemical processes in Amazon shelf sediments. Oceanography 4(1):27–32, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.1991.18.

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