Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Orono, ME 04469
Estuarine and coastal sediments release dissolved organic carbon (DOC) due to the high level of organic matter decay brought about by microbial activity, particularly sulfate reduction. High levels of DOC can lead to mobilization of toxic metals and chemicals. DOC flux may be affected by an increase in microbial activity due to rising temperatures and changing hydrology as a result of climate change.
In this project, Dr. Amirbahman quantified vertical movement of DOC across the sediment-water interface. Unlike other methods, this one allowed for real-time, non-intrusive measurements of water velocity. Sea Grant funds supported graduate student Michael Swett.
Swett, P., A. Amirbahman, E. Boss, and G.P. Gerbi. 2009. Assessment of benthic flux of dissolved organic carbon in estuaries using the eddy-correlation technique (poster), presented at American Geophysical Union Annual Meeting, December 14-18, San Francisco, CA.
For related Sea Grant research by Dr. Amirbahman, see the Research in Focus Fact Sheet, Mercury in the Penobscot River Estuary.