Modelling seabed sediment physical properties and organic matter content in the Firth of Clyde

Pace, M. C., Bailey, D. M. , Donnan, D. W., Narayanaswamy, B. E., Smith, H. J., Speirs, D. C., Turrell, W. R. and Heath, M. R. (2021) Modelling seabed sediment physical properties and organic matter content in the Firth of Clyde. Earth System Science Data, 13, pp. 5847-5866. (doi: 10.5194/essd-13-5847-2021)

[img] Text
257338.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.



High quality quantitative maps of seabed sedimentary physical and geochemical properties have numerous research and conservation applications, including habitat and ecosystem modelling, marine spatial planning and ecosystem service mapping. However, such maps are lacking for many ecologically and economically important marine areas. Using legacy data supplemented by measurements from recent benthic surveys, modelled hydrodynamic variables and high resolution bathymetry, quantitative maps for the top 10 cm of seabed sediment were generated via a combination of statistical and machine-learning techniques for the Firth of Clyde, a semi-enclosed coastal sea on the west coast of Scotland. The maps include sediment fractions of mud, sand and gravel, whole-sediment median grain size, sediment permeability and porosity, rates of natural seabed abrasion, and sediment particulate organic carbon and nitrogen content. Properties were mapped over an unstructured grid, so that very high resolutions were achieved close to the coastlines, where sediments may be expected to be spatially heterogeneous. Overall, the maps reveal extensive areas of very low sediment permeability coupled with low rates of natural seabed disturbance. Moreover, muddy sediments in the inner Firth of Clyde, Inchmarnock Water and the sea lochs are enriched in organic carbon and nitrogen relative to the sediments of the outer Firth of Clyde. As a demonstration of the value of these maps, the standing stock of organic carbon and nitrogen in the surficial sediments of the Clyde was calculated. The Clyde stores 3.42 and 0.33 million tonnes of organic carbon and nitrogen in the top 10 cm of seabed sediment, respectively, substantially contributing to Scotland’s coastal and shelf blue carbon stocks.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This research has been supported by NatureScot and the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland (MASTS is funded by the Scottish Funding Council (grant reference HR09011) and contributing institutions).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Bailey, Dr David and Pace, Matthew
Authors: Pace, M. C., Bailey, D. M., Donnan, D. W., Narayanaswamy, B. E., Smith, H. J., Speirs, D. C., Turrell, W. R., and Heath, M. R.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Earth System Science Data
Publisher:Copernicus Publications
ISSN (Online):1866-3516
Published Online:21 December 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © The Author(s) 2021
First Published:First published in Earth System Science Data 13: 5847-5866
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons licence
Data DOI:10.15129/2003faa2-ee93-4c11-bb16-48485f5f136d

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record