Regional comparisons of carbon burial within tidal creek marshes in southeastern North Carolina Public Deposited

Downloadable Content

Download file
Last Modified
  • February 26, 2019
  • Smith, Alexander
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Curriculum in Environment and Ecology, Environmental Science
  • Salt marshes have large capacities for carbon (C) storage due to their high productivity, but because of large differences in sediment accumulation rates over relatively short distances, these regional variations in regards to carbon burial may be high. One core (&lt;50cm) was collected from salt marshes within six tidal creeks in Carteret (3) and New Hanover (3) counties for a total of six cores. Measurements of organic content and carbon signatures (TOC, TN, C:N, %OM), radiochemical tracers (210Pb, 137Cs), and morphology (porosity, DBD) were used to illustrate differences in fluxes of sediment and organic matter to these sites. While organic C and N remained relatively constant across sites, one site from both counties showed increased organic matter with depth. Sites positioned above oyster beds experienced higher C:N and DBD at shallow depths (<25cm). Trends in excess 210Pb inventories suggest that a shift in land use or sea level rise (SLR) during the early 2000s may have resulted in increased accumulation rates. Recent (<10 years) increases in sediment accretion rates could be indicative of the role that hurricanes and large magnitude precipitation events play in sediment accretion. Comparing sediment accretion rates to relative SLR is important to understand the vulnerability of salt marshes to submersion and erosion and the subsequent release of buried C.
Date of publication
Resource type
Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Funding: Vicki and David Craver Academic Leadership Grant
  • Cable, Jaye
  • Bachelor of Science
Academic concentration
  • Environmental Science
Honors level
  • Honors
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Graduation year
  • 2018
  • English

This work has no parents.