Permeable marine sediments: Overturning an old paradigm


  • Bernard P. Boudreau,

    1. School of Ocean and Earth Sciences, Southampton Oceanography Center, Waterfront Campus , European Way, Southampton S014 3ZH, UK
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  • Markus Huettel,

  • Stefan Forster,

  • Richard A. Jahnke,

  • Anton McLachlan,

  • Jack J. Middelburg,

  • Peter Nielsen,

  • Frank Sansone,

  • Gary Taghon,

  • Wim Van Raaphorst,

  • Ian Webster,

  • Jan Marcin Weslawski,

  • Pat Wiberg,

  • Bjorn Sundby


Sandy sediments, which cover about 70% of continental shelves and most beaches, are often thought of as geochemical deserts that harbor no life because they are usually poor in organic matter and other reactive substances. Based on the belief that significant reactions and fluxes and a dynamic ecology require large standing stocks of reactants and organic matter, sandy sediments are neglected.