Interpretation of measured concentration profiles in sediment pore water
Limnol. Oceanogr., 43(7), 1998, 1500-1510 | DOI: 10.4319/lo.19126.96.36.1990
ABSTRACT: A robust numerical procedure for biogeochemical interpretation and analysis of measured concentration profiles of solutes in sediment pore water has been developed. Assuming that the concentration-depth profile represents a steady state, the rate of net production or consumption as a function of depth can be calculated, together with the flux across the sediment-water interface. Three kinds of vertical transport can be included in the analysis: molecular diffusion, bioturbation, and irrigation. The procedure involves finding a series of least square fits to the measured concentration profile, followed by comparisons of these fits through statistical F-testing. This approach leads to an objective selection of the simplest production-consumption profile that reproduces the concentration profile. Because the numerical procedure is optimized with respect to speed, one prediction can typically be done in a few minutes or less on a personal computer. The technique has been tested successfully against analytical solutions describing the transport and consumption of O2 in sediment pore water. In other tests, measured concentration profiles of O2, NO3-, NH4+, and CO2 have been interpreted using the new procedure.