Depositional conditions and organic matter distribution in the Bornholm Basin, Baltic Sea

P. L. Christoffersen, C. Christiansen, J.B. Jensen, T. Leipe, S. Hille

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftArtikelForskningpeer review

22 Citationer (Scopus)


Information on grain-size distribution and total organic carbon (TOC) content of surface sediment and cores from the Bornholm Basin, together with dating of cores using the 210Pb method and shallow seismic chirp profiling, has been analysed to elucidate long-term accumulation patterns. The presence of non-depositional areas with lag sediments and low TOC content below the wave base indicates that inflows of dense bottom water originating in the North Sea and associated near-bottom currents have strong influence on the depositional patterns of bulk sediment and organic matter in this deep basin. The general fining in mean grain size towards the northeast corresponds to the direction of inflow currents and prevailing winds. Recent and previously found 210Pb-based mean accumulation rates vary greatly within the basin, between 129 and 1,144 g m-2 year-1. The accumulation rate may vary by a factor of three even between stations located only 3-4 km apart. Rates recorded close to a seismic profile are consistent with the variation in Holocene sediment thickness. This variation reflects a depositional system controlled by near-bottom inflow currents, consisting of a large-scale channel and a wedge-formed sediment package. The spatial variation in TOC content depends partly on water depth, presumably due to generally poorer degradation in the deepest part of the basin because of less frequent oxygen supply by inflow water. Moreover, there is a tendency of higher TOC contents in the southern part of the basin, which may be due to the input of sediments originating from the Oder River. Compared to values for the central, deep Baltic Sea, TOC contents show lower values of 4-6% and insignificant temporal variations. This may be due to the Bornholm Basin being located much closer to the source of the more oxic inflow water, resulting in more favourable degradation conditions.

Sider (fra-til)325-338
Antal sider14
TidsskriftGeo-Marine Letters
Udgave nummer5
StatusUdgivet - okt. 2007


  • Methane distribution


  • Programområde 5: Natur og klima


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