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Geochemical composition of Trondheimsfjord surface sediments: Sources and spatial variability of marine and terrigenous components


Faust, J., Knies, J., Slagstad, T., Vogt, C., Milzer, G., Giraudeau, J.


First Authors affiliation




Continental  Shelf Research




High sedimentation rates in fjords provide excellent possibilities for high resolution sedimentary and geochemical records over the Holocene. As a baseline for an improved interpretation of geochemical data from fjord sediment cores, this study aims to investigate the inorganic/organic geochemistry of surface sediments and to identify geochemical proxies for terrestrial input and river discharge in the Trondheimsfjord, central Norway. Sixty evenly distributed surface sediment samples were analysed for their elemental composition, total organic carbon (Corg), nitrogen (Norg) and organic carbon stable isotopes (δ13Corg), bulk mineral composition and grain size distribution. Our results indicate carbonate marine productivity to be the main CaCO3 source. Also, a strong decreasing gradient of marine-derived organic matter from the entrance towards the fjord inner part is consistent with modern primary production data. We show that the origin of the organic matter as well as the distribution of CaCO3 in Trondheimsfjord sediments can be used as a proxy for the variable inflow of Atlantic water and changes in river runoff. Furthermore, the comparison of grain size independent Al-based trace element ratios with geochemical analysis from terrigenous sediments and bedrocks provides evidence that the distribution of K/Al, Ni/Al and K/Ni in the fjord sediments reflect regional sources of K and Ni in the northern and southern drainage basin of the Trondheimsfjord. Applying these findings to temporally well-constrained sediment records will provide important insights into both the palaeoenvironmental changes of the hinterland and the palaeoceanographic modifications in the Norwegian Sea as response to rapid climate changes and associated feedback mechanisms.

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