EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Source to Sea: the relationship between carbon and iron in mid-latitude fjord sediments

Celeste Kellock1, Craig Smeaton2, Nadeem Shah3, William Austin2, and Christian Schroeder1
Celeste Kellock et al.
  • 1University of Stirling , Biological and Environmental Sciences , Scotland, United Kingdom of Great Britain (
  • 2School of Geography and Sustainable Development, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, KY16 9AL
  • 3Forest Research, Northern Research Station, Midlothian, EH25 9SY

Mid-latitude fjords have recently been identified as important environments for carbon storage. This research highlights the importance of the lateral transport of carbon from land to sea as we assess the influence of catchment land use (primarily forestry) on carbon transport and sediment carbon burial. Establishing the influence of land use, specifically forestry, on coastal biogeochemical cycling is particularly important if afforestation is to help mitigate climate change impacts, and to better understand the impact of deforestation. The relationship between carbon and iron in fjord sediments is the focus of this study. We provide insights into carbon and iron coupling in a mid-latitude fjord. Here we show the variability of carbon burial, and how this is influenced by terrestrial inputs and iron speciation in fjord sediments. We use bulk organic carbon and elemental data, isotopic analysis, Mössbauer spectroscopy and chemical extractions to better understand the relationship between carbon and iron. Observed decreases in organic carbon from the upper to lower basin are influenced by the input of terrestrial material. Organic carbon is up to three times higher in the upper basin and terrestrial organic carbon is ~20% higher in comparison to the lower basin of the fjord. The strength of the reactive iron signal is found to vary vertically (with depth, over time) and laterally (from upper – lower basin) within this fjord. Results highlight that there is a changing relationship between iron and carbon within this system. Understanding land-sea controls on coastal carbon transport and burial is crucial during this period of climate change.

How to cite: Kellock, C., Smeaton, C., Shah, N., Austin, W., and Schroeder, C.: Source to Sea: the relationship between carbon and iron in mid-latitude fjord sediments, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-483,, 2022.


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