Alternate Title

Patterns of Suspended Particle Transport in a Mississippi Tidal Marsh System

Document Type



The flux of suspended particulate organic detritus (POD) and suspended inorganic detritus (PID) was studied during ten diurnal tidal periods (24-hour) and three semidiurnal tidal periods (12-hour) between May 1975 and April 1976. The concentration of POD ranged from 1.50 to 19.79 mg/l, while the PID ranged from 3.20 to 99.61 mg/l. There was a net export of POD during four of 13 tidal periods and a net export of PID during five tidal periods. There was a total net movement of 39.32 and 292.51 kg of POD and PID, respectively, into the marsh. On an annual basis, this is equivalent to the addition of 168 g/m2/yr of detrital material to the marsh. The predictability of POD and PID concentration in the water was good (r2 of 57.9 and 58.1%) during ebb tide based on nine biological and physical variables. The ratio of POD to total suspended material was 15.9% and constant during the year at all concentrations. Although the marsh may not be an important source of carbon for the estuary, data indicate that the marsh may regulate the concentration of suspended detritus in the nearby bay by releasing detritus when the detritus concentration in the water is low and by accumulating detritus when this concentration is high.

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