Sediment-water exchange of Mn, Fe, Ni and Zn in Galveston Bay, Texas Academic Article uri icon


  • In-situ benthic flux studies were conducted at three stations in Upper Galveston Bay twice during March 1996 to directly measure release rates of dissolved Mn, Fe, Ni and Zn from the sediments. Results showed reproducible increases with time in both replicate light and light-dark benthic chambers, resulting in average fluxes of - 1200 ±780, - 17 ±12, - 1.6 ±0.6 and -2.4 ±0.79 μmol m-2 day-1 for Mn, Fe, Ni and Zn, respectively. Sediment cores collected during 1994-1996 showed that surficial pore water concentrations were elevated compared to overlying water column concentrations, suggesting diffusive release from the sediments. Diffusive flux estimates of Mn and Zn agreed in direction with chamber fluxes measured on the same date, but only accounted for 5-38% of the measured flux. Diffusive fluxes of Fe agreed with measured fluxes at the near Trinity River station but overestimated actual release in the mid and outer Trinity Bay regions, possibly due to inaccurate determination of the Fe pore water gradients or rapid oxidation processes in the overlying water at these stations. In general, measured fluxes of Mn and Ni were higher in the mid Trinity Bay region and suggested a mechanism for the elevated trace metal concentrations previously reported for this region of Galveston Bay. However, the fluxes of Fe were highest in close proximity to the Trinity River, supporting the elevated Fe concentrations measured in this region during this and other studies, and decreased towards middle and outer Trinity Bay. Trace metal turnover times were between 0.1 and 1.2 days for Mn, between 1.3 and 4.6 days for Fe, and between 27 and 100 days for Ni and 12-20 days Zn, and were considerably shorter than the average Trinity Bay water residence time (1.5 years) for this period. Comparing area averaged benthic inputs to Trinity River inputs shows the sediments to be a significant source of trace metals to Galveston Bay. However, while benthic inputs of trace metals were measured, water column concentrations remained low despite rapid turnover times for Mn and Fe, suggesting removal of these metals from the water column after release from the sediments. © 2001 Elsevier Science B.V.

published proceedings

  • Marine Chemistry

author list (cited authors)

  • Warnken, K. W., Gill, G. A., Griffin, L. L., & Santschi, P. H

citation count

  • 83

complete list of authors

  • Warnken, Kent W||Gill, Gary A||Griffin, Lawrence L||Santschi, Peter H

publication date

  • March 2001