Volume 39 Issue 3
Apr.  2020
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Meng Gao, Baoqi Huang, Zhifei Liu, Yulong Zhao, Yanwei Zhang. Observations of marine snow and fecal pellets in a sediment trap mooring in the northern South China Sea[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica, 2020, 39(3): 141-147. doi: 10.1007/s13131-020-1561-9
Citation: Meng Gao, Baoqi Huang, Zhifei Liu, Yulong Zhao, Yanwei Zhang. Observations of marine snow and fecal pellets in a sediment trap mooring in the northern South China Sea[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica, 2020, 39(3): 141-147. doi: 10.1007/s13131-020-1561-9

Observations of marine snow and fecal pellets in a sediment trap mooring in the northern South China Sea

doi: 10.1007/s13131-020-1561-9
Funds:  The National Natural Science Foundation of China under contract Nos 91528304 and 41376043.
More Information
  • Corresponding author: E-mail: bqhuang@pku.edu.cn
  • Received Date: 2019-05-23
  • Accepted Date: 2019-08-16
  • Available Online: 2020-04-21
  • Publish Date: 2020-03-25
  • Sediment traps are an important tool for studying the source, composition and sedimentation processes of sinking particulate matter in the ocean. An in situ observational mooring (TJ-A-1) is located in the northern South China Sea (20.05°N, 117.42°E) at a water depth of 2 100 m and equipped with two sediment traps deployed at 500 m and 1 950 m. Samples were collected at 18-day intervals, and 20 samples were obtained at both depths from May 2014 to May 2015. Large amounts of fecal matter and marine snow were collected in the lower trap. The fluxes of marine snow and fecal pellets exhibited a fluctuating decrease between May 2014 and early August 2014 and then stabilized at a relatively low level. Scanning electron microscopy observations revealed that the main components of the marine snow and fecal pellets were diatoms, coccolithophores, radiolarians, and other debris, all of which are planktons mostly produced in photic zone. Used in conjunction with the particle collection range estimates from the lower trap and data on ocean surface chlorophyll, these marine snow and fecal pellets were related to the lateral transport of deep water and not vertical migrations from overlying water column. Moreover, the source area might be southwest of Taiwan.
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