Sediment-Water Chemical Exchange in the Coastal Zone Traced by in situ Radon-222 Flux Measurements

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Science  18 Apr 1980:
Vol. 208, Issue 4441, pp. 285-288
DOI: 10.1126/science.208.4441.285


In situ radon-222 flux experiments conducted in benthic chambers in Cape Lookout Bight, a small marine basin on the North Carolina coast, reveal that enhanced chemical transport across the sediment-water interface during summer months is caused by abiogenic bubble tube structures. Transport rates for dissolved radon, methane, and ammonium more than three times greater than those predicted on the basis of molecular diffusion occur when open tubes are maintained by semi-diurnal low-tide bubbling.