How storms affect carbon burial in the New River Estuary, North Carolina Public Deposited

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  • March 19, 2019
  • Bost, Molly
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Marine Sciences
  • Estuaries provide many ecosystem services, but one that is not well quantified is carbon burial. The New River Estuary (NRE) is a wave dominated, multi-lagoon system with limited connectivity to the ocean. The goal of this study is to assess changes in carbon burial rates over the past century within the NRE. The NRE has undergone changes including development of a Marine Corps base, eutrophication followed by remediation, and hurricanes, all of which affect carbon burial rates. Mean sediment accumulation rates (SAR) calculated using 210Pb, and carbon burial rates varied greatly, ranging from 0.71 cm yr-1 to 3.02 cm yr-1 and 103.3 g C m-2 yr-1 to 559.9 g C m-2 yr-1 respectively. After hurricanes Dennis and Floyd made landfall in North Carolina weeks apart, SAR and carbon burial rates increased throughout the estuary, an order of magnitude in the middle estuary. This work emphasizes the importance of changes in estuarine carbon burial due to eutrophication and increasing frequency of storms due to climate change.
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  • In Copyright
  • McKee, Brent
  • Cable, Jaye
  • Rodriguez, Antonio
  • Master of Science
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2016

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