Articles | Volume 24, issue 4
Research article
30 Apr 2020
Research article |  | 30 Apr 2020

Isotopic and chromatographic fingerprinting of the sources of dissolved organic carbon in a shallow coastal aquifer

Karina T. Meredith, Andy Baker, Martin S. Andersen, Denis M. O'Carroll, Helen Rutlidge, Liza K. McDonough, Phetdala Oudone, Eliza Bryan, and Nur Syahiza Zainuddin

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Cited articles

Appelo, C. A. J. and Postma, D.: Geochemistry, Groundwater, and Pollution, second ed., A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam, 649 pp., 2005. 
Benner, R., Newell, S. Y., Maccubbin, A. E., and Hodson, R. E.: Relative contributions of bacteria and fungi to rates of degradation of lignocellulosic detritus in salt-marsh sediments, Appl. Environ. Microb., 48, 36–40, 1984. 
Berner, R. A.: A new geochemical classification of sedimentary environments, J. Sediment. Res., 51, 359–365, 1981. 
Bertrand, P. and Lallier-Vergès, E.: Past sedimentary organic matter accumulation and degradation controlled by productivity, Nature, 364, 786–788, 1993. 
Bryan, E., Meredith, K. T., Baker, A., Andersen, M. S., Post, V. E. A., and Treble, P. C.: How water isotopes (18O, 2H, 3H) within an island freshwater lens respond to changes in rainfall, Water Res., 170, 115301,, 2020. 
Short summary
Dissolved organic carbon within groundwater and processes controlling it remain largely unknown. The average groundwater concentration at this coastal site was 5 times higher than the global median, doubling with depth, but with no change in chromatographic character. The lack of oxygen limited the rate of organic matter processing, leading to enhanced preservation. Changes in coastal hydrology could lead to the flux of unreacted organic carbon.