Fluorescence and Physical Indicators for Sediments Cores from Barataria Basin, Louisiana, for March and November 2017

Website: https://www.bco-dmo.org/dataset/859759
Data Type: Other Field Results
Version: 1
Version Date: 2021-10-08

» Fate of Coastal Wetland Carbon Under Increasing Sea Level Rise: Using the Subsiding Louisiana Coast as a Proxy for Future World-Wide Sea Level Projections (Submerged Wetland Carbon)
Cook, Robert L.Louisiana State UniversityPrincipal Investigator, Contact
White, John R.Louisiana State University (LSU)Co-Principal Investigator
Hayes, Michael P.Louisiana State University (LSU)Scientist
Haywood, Benjamin J.Louisiana State University (LSU)Scientist
Thomas, ElizabethLouisiana State University (LSU)Student
Kinkade, DanieWoods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI BCO-DMO)BCO-DMO Data Manager

Core samples were collected from three different transects in South Wilkinson Bay in the Northeast portion of Barataria Bay, Louisiana in March and November, 2018. Samples were then analyzed for fluorescence and other physical indicators.


Spatial Extent: Lat:29.4436 Lon:-89.8997
Temporal Extent: 2017-03-10 - 2017-11-10

Acquisition Description

Core samples were collected at five different distances from the island’s edge at three different transects on the island. These core samples were then broken down into 10 cm sections and these sections were then further divided into two subsets. The samples in the first subset were used for the soil physiochemical analysis. The samples in the second set were centrifuged to yield pore water samples that were spectroscopically analyzed (please see the sampling and analytical procedures for further details).


Sample Collection: Thirty cores, which were 0.5 – 1 m long, were collected on at three transects on the island with a manual push-coring method using an acrylic tube. At each transect, cores were extracted at 2 m inland, 1 m inland, 0 m inland (edge), 4 meters outland, and 8 m outland. Upon extraction in the field, each core was sectioned in 10 cm sections, sealed in polyethylene bags, and stored on ice during transportation back to the lab, where they were stored at 4 degrees C in the dark until analysis.

Surface water samples were collected 10 cm below the surface at the edge of the marsh and 16 m outland following the procedures in Haywood et al. (2018).

Soil Physiochemical Analysis: The 10 cm sections were homogenized and weighed prior to analysis to determine gravimetric moisture content, bulk density, percent organic matter, and total carbon.

Gravimetric Moisture Content: The entire 10 cm section (~30 g) was oven-dried at 60 degrees C until constant weight was achieved.

    Bulk Density: The total weight of the dried 10 cm section of core was divided by the volume of the 10 cm section (385 cm3)

    Percent Organic Matter: 1 g of the dried 10 cm section of core was ground using a mortar and pestle. It was combusted in a Thermolyne furnace (Thermofischer Scientific, Waltham, MA) at 550 degrees C for 4 hours. After cooling, the sample was weighed. The difference in weight following combustion determined percent organic matter.

Total Carbon: 8 mg of the dried 10 cm section of core was used to determine total carbon. These samples were placed into a Shimadzu Total Organic Carbon Analyzer with SSM-5000 A (Shimadzu, Columbia, MD) and combusted at 900 degrees C for 13 minutes.

Porewater Analysis: To remove pore water from the wet soil samples, samples were centrifuged at 2578 g for 10 min. The pore water was decanted and filtered through a 0.45-micrometer x 22-millimeter Nylon syringe filter. After filtration, the pore water was stored at 4 degrees C in the dark until analysis. To determine the dissolved organic carbon, a Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOC-L) (Shimazdu, Columbia, MD) was used. A Cary 100 Spectrophotometer (Varian Inc., Palo Alto, CA) was used to collect UV–Vis absorbance spectra, and a Spex Fluorolog-3 spectrofluorometer (HORIBA Scientific, Edison, NJ) was used to collect fluorescence, methods based on Haywood et al. (2018).

Processing Description

PARAFAC analysis was performed in MATLAB (2016a) using the drEEM toolbox (Murphy et al., 2013)

Two-tailed student’s t-test with two-samples assuming equal variances and alpha = 0.05 was used to determine the correlation between March 10 and November 10 data.

Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), where alpha = 0.05, in Excel was used to analyze geophysical and spectroscopic measurement physical trends and their horizontal similarities.

BCO-DMO processing description:

- Adjusted field/parameter names to comply with BCO-DMO naming conventions

- Added a conventional header with dataset name, PI names, version date

- Converted dates to ISO date format (yyyy-mm-dd)

- Rounded values to nearest hundreds 


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Related Publications

Haywood, B. J., Hayes, M. P., White, J. R., & Cook, R. L. (2020). Potential fate of wetland soil carbon in a deltaic coastal wetland subjected to high relative sea level rise. Science of The Total Environment, 711, 135185. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.135185
Haywood, B. J., White, J. R., & Cook, R. L. (2018). Investigation of an early season river flood pulse: Carbon cycling in a subtropical estuary. Science of The Total Environment, 635, 867–877. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.03.379
Murphy, K. R., Stedmon, C. A., Graeber, D., & Bro, R. (2013). Fluorescence spectroscopy and multi-way techniques. PARAFAC. Analytical Methods, 5(23), 6557–6566. https://doi.org/10.1039/C3AY41160E

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Site_IDName of site unitless
Latlatitude Decimal degrees North
Lonlongitude Decimal degrees East (West is negative)
Date_ISODate of sampling in format YYYY-MM-DD unitless
TransectIsland location unitless
ReplicateReplicate number unitless
Depth_minDistance from surface centimeters
Shore_DistanceDistance from shore meters
A254UV/Vis Indicator AU
A350UV/Vis Indicator AU
S275UV/Vis Indicator AU
FIFluorescence Indicator AU
BIXFluorescence Indicator AU
HIXFluorescence Indicator AU
SUVA254UV/Vis Indicator liters per milligram per meter (L mg^-1 m^-1)
SUVA350UV/Vis Indicator liters per milligram per meter (L mg^-1 m^-1)
BDBulk Density grams per cubic centimeter (g cm^-3)
LOILoss-On-Ignition percent
InlandInland or outland designated as Y or N unitless
Depth_maxDistance from surface     centimeters
WeightMass grams
Total_Carbon_DensityTotal Carbon density grams per cubic centimeter g cm^-3
Int_TFluorescence Indicator AU
Int_AFluorescence Indicator AU
Int_BFluorescence Indicator AU
Per_TComponent centered at about Ex./Em. (nm): 270 (310)/420 percent R.U.
Per_AComponent centered at about Ex./Em. (nm): 270 (395)/490 percent R.U.
Per_BComponent centered at about Ex./Em. (nm): 275/310 percent R.U.

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Dataset-specific Instrument Name
Spex Fluorolog-3 spectrofluorometer (HORIBA Scientific, Edison, NJ)
Generic Instrument Name
Generic Instrument Description
A fluorometer or fluorimeter is a device used to measure parameters of fluorescence: its intensity and wavelength distribution of emission spectrum after excitation by a certain spectrum of light. The instrument is designed to measure the amount of stimulated electromagnetic radiation produced by pulses of electromagnetic radiation emitted into a water sample or in situ.

Dataset-specific Instrument Name
Shimadzu Total Organic Carbon Analyzer with SSM-5000 A (Shimadzu, Columbia, MD)
Generic Instrument Name
Total Organic Carbon Analyzer
Generic Instrument Description
A unit that accurately determines the carbon concentrations of organic compounds typically by detecting and measuring its combustion product (CO2). See description document at: http://bcodata.whoi.edu/LaurentianGreatLakes_Chemistry/bs116.pdf

Dataset-specific Instrument Name
Cary 100 Spectrophotometer (Varian Inc., Palo Alto, CA)
Generic Instrument Name
Generic Instrument Description
An instrument used to measure the relative absorption of electromagnetic radiation of different wavelengths in the near infra-red, visible and ultraviolet wavebands by samples.

Dataset-specific Instrument Name
Shimadzu Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOC-L) (Shimazdu, Columbia, MD)
Generic Instrument Name
Shimadzu TOC-L Analyzer
Generic Instrument Description
A Shimadzu TOC-L Analyzer measures DOC by high temperature combustion method. Developed by Shimadzu, the 680 degree C combustion catalytic oxidation method is now used worldwide. One of its most important features is the capacity to efficiently oxidize hard-to-decompose organic compounds, including insoluble and macromolecular organic compounds. The 680 degree C combustion catalytic oxidation method has been adopted for the TOC-L series. http://www.shimadzu.com/an/toc/lab/toc-l2.html

Dataset-specific Instrument Name
Thermolyne furnace (Thermofischer Scientific, Waltham, MA)
Generic Instrument Name
muffle furnace
Generic Instrument Description
A muffle furnace or muffle oven (sometimes retort furnace in historical usage) is a furnace in which the subject material is isolated from the fuel and all of the products of combustion, including gases and flying ash.  A type of jacketed enclosure that is used to heat a material to significantly high temperatures while keeping it contained and fully isolated from external contaminants, chemicals or substances. Muffle furnaces are usually lined with stainless steel, making them largely corrosion-resistant.

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Project Information

Fate of Coastal Wetland Carbon Under Increasing Sea Level Rise: Using the Subsiding Louisiana Coast as a Proxy for Future World-Wide Sea Level Projections (Submerged Wetland Carbon)

Coverage: Coastal Lousiana

Description from NSF award abstract:
Coastal Louisiana is currently experiencing net sea level rise at rates higher than most of the world's coastlines and within the global range predicted to occur in the next 65 - 85 years, making Louisiana an ideal site to study potential future impacts of rising sea level on coastal systems. This project will use field collection and controlled tank experiments to study the changing organic carbon cycle resulting from erosion of marsh soils along with its impact on associated biogeochemical processes. The hypothesis tested in this study is that the majority of eroded soil organic carbon is converted to carbon dioxide (CO2) and released to the atmosphere, representing an addition to the anthropogenic input of CO2. This process has not been quantified and could be an important missing component in predictive models of atmospheric CO2 changes. While this process may be of only regional importance today in comparison to other sources of CO2, this study of the Louisiana coast will greatly enhance our full understanding of the potential impacts on the global carbon cycle that may result from coastal erosion as global sea level continues to rise.

The project will train graduate and undergraduate students in interdisciplinary research involving marine and wetland biogeochemistry, microbiology, and ecological modeling. It will also fund development of an interactive, educational display on the loss of coastal wetlands for the Louisiana Sea Grant's annual Ocean Commotion educational event attended by area middle and high school students, teachers, and parents. Results from this study may also inform community planners both regionally and worldwide as they prepare for sea level rise in coastal communities.

Eustatic sea level rise and regional subsidence have created a much greater rate of coastline loss in Louisiana than is being experienced in most of the world's coastal regions, reaching global rates that are predicted to occur worldwide in 65 - 85 years. This provides a unique potential to extrapolate data from Louisiana's changing coastal carbon cycle to both regional and global models of the future impact of sea level rise and coastal erosion. By quantifying and modeling the importance of CO2 emissions resulting directly from mineralized soil organic matter from eroding coastlines, a missing element can be added to climate change models. The PIs here plan to investigate the fate of the coastal wetland carbon pool as it erodes using field sampling, laboratory analysis, mesocosm manipulations, and the creation of a coupled physical-biogeochemical model for the basin being studied. Beyond quantifying increased CO2 emission, the PIs will also address the potential for increased eutrophication due to input of nutrients from eroded soils, as well as the potential for future contribution to existing hypoxic zones in the northern Gulf of Mexico that result from excessive nutrient input from the Mississippi River watershed.

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Funding SourceAward
NSF Division of Ocean Sciences (NSF OCE)

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