Journal cover Journal topic
Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Biogeosciences, 4, 627-646, 2007
© Author(s) 2007. This work is licensed under
the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.
09 Aug 2007
Quantifying biologically and physically induced flow and tracer dynamics in permeable sediments
F. J. R. Meysman1, O. S. Galaktionov1, P. L. M. Cook2,*, F. Janssen2, M. Huettel3, and J. J. Middelburg1 1Centre for Estuarine and Marine Ecology (CEME), The Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW), Korringaweg 7, 4401 NT Yerseke, The Netherlands
2Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Celsiusstr. 1, Bremen, 28359, Germany
3Department of Oceanography, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306-4320, USA
*now at: CSIRO Land and Water, 120 Meiers Rd Indooroopilly, 4075, Qld, Australia
Abstract. Insight in the biogeochemistry and ecology of sandy sediments crucially depends on a quantitative description of pore water flow and the associated transport of various solutes and particles. We show that widely different problems can be modelled by the same flow and tracer equations. The principal difference between model applications concerns the geometry of the sediment-water interface and the pressure conditions that are specified along this boundary. We illustrate this commonality with four different case studies. These include biologically and physically induced pore water flows, as well as simplified laboratory set-ups versus more complex field-like conditions: [1] lugworm bio-irrigation in laboratory set-up, [2] interaction of bio-irrigation and groundwater seepage on a tidal flat, [3] pore water flow induced by rotational stirring in benthic chambers, and [4] pore water flow induced by unidirectional flow over a ripple sequence. The same two example simulations are performed in all four cases: (a) the time-dependent spreading of an inert tracer in the pore water, and (b) the computation of the steady-state distribution of oxygen in the sediment. Overall, our model comparison indicates that model development for sandy sediments is promising, but within an early stage. Clear challenges remain in terms of model development, model validation, and model implementation.

Citation: Meysman, F. J. R., Galaktionov, O. S., Cook, P. L. M., Janssen, F., Huettel, M., and Middelburg, J. J.: Quantifying biologically and physically induced flow and tracer dynamics in permeable sediments, Biogeosciences, 4, 627-646,, 2007.
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