Date of Award
Bachelor of Science (BS)
College of Science
Sandy coastlines serve crucial functions to coastal economies and coastal ecology alike. In the past, organic-poor sands were considered of lower importance than organic-rich muds. Recent studies showed that sands’ low organic matter concentrations are due to high biogeochemical cycling rates, driven by rapid physical exchange, but remain infrequently studied. I present time-series of sand mass-loss-on-ignition (LOI, an organic matter proxy) profiles from February 2017 onwards at multiple sites along Long Bay, South Carolina. LOI profiles exhibit subsurface maximum values, unlike the typical decrease with depth in muddy sediments. I hypothesize that organic matter distribution with depth is affected by different biogeochemical cycling rates, specifically respiration, at different depths. I compare seasonal patterns of organic matter and sand chlorophyll to detect whether organic matter content is affected by primary productivity cycles. This baseline study may assist in evaluations of disturbances of sandy shores of the Grand Strand in the future.
Christofferson, Kayla B., "Organic matter spatial and temporal patterns in coastal sands of Long Bay, South Carolina" (2021). Honors Theses. 415.