Biological Uptake of Dissolved Silica in the Amazon River Estuary

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Science  19 Sep 1975:
Vol. 189, Issue 4207, pp. 995-997
DOI: 10.1126/science.189.4207.995


Approximately 25 percent of the dissolved silica carried by the Amazon River is depleted through diatom production in the inner estuary. Annual production of opaline frustules is estimated to be 15 million tons. However, few diatoms accumulate in modern shelf sediments and chemical recycling appears to be slight. Instead, many frustules apparently are transported landward into the river system, where they deposit in dunes and layers on and within mud and sand bars.