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Provenances, distribution, and accumulation of organic matter in the southern Mariana Trench rim and slope: Implication for carbon cycle and burial in hadal trenches

Impact:
This study aims to understand the sources, distribution, and accumulation rates of organic matter in the southern Mariana Trench rim and slope. Through the analysis of contents of TOC and TN, and δ13C values of TOC, along with the simulation of the published 210Pbxs profile using 1D reaction-transport model, we conclude that (1) the organic matter mainly stems from marine phytoplankton except for sediments at 101 cm and 201 cm depths of GC05 with discernable terrestrial organic matter inputs, (2) the apparent increase in TOC contents in surface sediments with water depth together with elevated sedimentation rate were probably due to the distinctive topography and current dynamics within the trench, and (3) the estimated average POC accumulation rate within the southern Mariana Trench approximates to 1.5 × 10− 5 g cm− 2 yr− 1. Consequently, we put forward that hadal trenches are conductive to trap organic matter and that organic matter degradation in hadal trenches should be considered as an integral part of global carbon cycle.

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