Oxygen Consumption in Pelagic Marine Sediments

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Science  26 Sep 1980:
Vol. 209, Issue 4464, pp. 1527-1530
DOI: 10.1126/science.209.4464.1527


Measurements in the interstitial waters of pelagic red clay and carbonate ooze sediments in the central equatorial Pacific show that the dissolved oxygen content decreases with depth and levels off at nonzero values. The supply of reactive organic carbon introduced by bioturbation limits oxygen consumption at depth in the sediment. These gradients should produce diffusive fluxes across the sediment-water interface that average about 8.8 x 10–14 mole per square centimeter per second or 0.08 milliliter per square meter per hour.