Variability and transport of suspended sediment, particulate and dissolved organic carbon in the tidal freshwater Hudson River

Research paper by Stuart Findlay, Michael Pace, David Lints

Indexed on: 01 Mar '91Published on: 01 Mar '91Published in: Biogeochemistry


Measurements of suspended matter, particulate organic carbon and dissolved organic carbon were made over a three year period at stations spanning 150 km of the tidal freshwater Hudson River. Suspended matter concentrations varied from year-to-year and were not related to freshwater discharge. The increase in suspended matter with depth in vertical profiles suggests that, during medium to low flow conditions, resuspension of bottom sediments was as important a source of sediment as loadings from tributaries. Particulate organic carbon showed significant variability among stations, and both autochthonous primary production and detrital organic matter are contributing to POC standing stocks. Dissolved organic carbon represented over half of the total organic carbon in the water column and showed little variation among stations.Examining downstream changes in transport showed that there was significant production of both suspended matter and POC within the study reach during the ice-free season. Tributary loadings within the study reach do not appear to be the cause of these increases in downstream transport. Dissolved organic carbon behaved conservatively in that there was no evidence for net production or net consumption within the river.The spatial/temporal patterns and analyses of transport suggest that suspended matter and POC, but not DOC, were controlled to a significant extent by processes occurring within the river and were not simply related to loadings from outside.