Sediment resuspension and deposition in Narragansett Bay

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Monthly samples of sediments deposited in traps at three locations in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island, showed a gradient in sediment activity that increased from an annual mean of 20 ± 8·8 g m-2 day-1 at the head of the estuary to 51 ± 16·7 g m-2 day-1 at the mouth. Deposited materials were significantly higher in total organic matter, organic carbon and nitrogen than near surface sediments on the bottom. These parameters showed a gradient that decreased toward the mouth of the bay, with organic matter dropping from 14 ± 1 to 10 ± 1% of the dry weight deposited; carbon from 5·4 ± 0·9 to 3·4 ± 1·0%; and nitrogen from 0·6 ± 0·1 to 0·4 ± 0·1%. The annual mean C N ratio was 8·2 in the lower bay and 8·7 in the upper bay. Deposited materials were dominated by particles in the silt size range from 4-60 μm and comprised for the most part resuspended bottom sediments rather than fresh inputs of material from the water column. © 1975.

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Estuarine and Coastal Marine Science