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Trace metal composition of particulate matter in the water column and sediments of the Black Sea and regional rivers

Yiğiterhan, Oğuz
The Black Sea, with its oxic, suboxic and anoxic layers, provides a unique environment for studying how biological and geochemical processes affect the composition of particulate matter. The elemental composition of particles in the Black Sea is controlled by their origin and sources. Particles from rivers are dominated by aluminosilicate material that has compositions similar to the earth̕s crust. In general this material is relatively unreactive. Biological processes in the upper oxic and suboxic layers of the water column result in enrichments of elements which used as nutrients. Cu, Ba and Mo have been proposed as tracers for planktonic material and new production. Geochemical processes like manganese and iron recycling between oxidized and reduced forms, metal sulfide formation, and biogenic matter decomposition can have a large impact on the composition of particles in the suboxic and anoxic zones. The aim of this thesis was to study the composition of particles suspended in the water column of the Black Sea, in regional rivers draining into the Black Sea, and of particles deposited in these rivers and Black Sea sediments. The objectives were to determine the chemical composition and distribution of particles supplied by rivers and produced in the Black Sea, and compare with those particles buried in the sediments. The chemical distributions can help us to understand the biogeochemical processes taking place. The ultimate goal is to understand if there is a chemical signature that characterizes sediments deposited in anoxic basins that can be used to determine if ancient sedimentary rocks were deposited under such conditions.