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Water 2017, 9(9), 694; doi:10.3390/w9090694

Spatial and Seasonal Variation of Biomineral Suspended Particulate Matter Properties in High-Turbid Nearshore and Low-Turbid Offshore Zones

Operational Directorate Natural Environment, Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Gulledelle 100, B-1200 Brussels, Belgium
Department of Disaster Prevention and Environmental Engineering, Kyungpook National University, 2559 Gyeongsang-daero, Sangju, Gyeongbuk 742-711, Korea
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 August 2017 / Revised: 7 September 2017 / Accepted: 11 September 2017 / Published: 12 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sediment Transport in Coastal Waters)
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Suspended particulate matter (SPM) is abundant and essential in marine and coastal waters, and comprises a wide variety of biomineral particles, which are practically grouped into organic biomass and inorganic sediments. Such biomass and sediments interact with each other and build large biomineral aggregates via flocculation, therefore controlling the fate and transport of SPM in marine and coastal waters. Despite its importance, flocculation mediated by biomass-sediment interactions is not fully understood. Thus, the aim of this research was to explain biologically mediated flocculation and SPM dynamics in different locations and seasons in marine and coastal waters. Field measurement campaigns followed by physical and biochemical analyses had been carried out from 2004 to 2011 in the Belgian coastal area to investigate bio-mediated flocculation and SPM dynamics. Although SPM had the same mineralogical composition, it encountered different fates in the turbidity maximum zone (TMZ) and in the offshore zone (OSZ), regarding bio-mediated flocculation. SPM in the TMZ built sediment-enriched, dense, and settleable biomineral aggregates, whereas SPM in the OSZ composed biomass-enriched, less dense, and less settleable marine snow. Biological proliferation, such as an algal bloom, was also found to facilitate SPM in building biomass-enriched marine snow, even in the TMZ. In short, bio-mediated flocculation and SPM dynamics varied spatially and seasonally, owing to biomass-sediment interactions and bio-mediated flocculation. View Full-Text
Keywords: suspended particulate matter; aggregates; flocculation; biomass; sediment suspended particulate matter; aggregates; flocculation; biomass; sediment

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Fettweis, M.; Lee, B.J. Spatial and Seasonal Variation of Biomineral Suspended Particulate Matter Properties in High-Turbid Nearshore and Low-Turbid Offshore Zones. Water 2017, 9, 694.

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