Comparing Rhizon samplers and centrifugation for pore-water separation in studies of the marine carbonate system in sediments
Limnology and Oceanography: Methods
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Steiner, Z., Lazar, B., Erez, J., & Turchyn, S. (2018). Comparing Rhizon samplers and centrifugation for pore-water separation in studies of the marine carbonate system in sediments. Limnology and Oceanography: Methods, 16 (12), 828-839. https://doi.org/10.1002/lom3.10286
An accurate description of the carbonate system in porewaters is valuable in studies involving the degradation of sedimentary organic matter, recrystallization of calcium carbonate minerals, calculations of mineral saturation state and cycling of ions affected by pH. Here we analyze water chemistry of porewater extracted using centrifugation and Rhizon samplers from hemipelagic sediments in the Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea, and a shallow salt marsh from Norfolk, England. In both study areas, the data is internally consistent for each porewater separation technique, but the measured isotopic composition of the dissolved inorganic carbon (δ13C(DIC)) differs between the two techniques. We performed laboratory experiments that show that both Rhizons and centrifugation are prone to degassing of CO2 enriched with 12C. We suggest that during sampling with Rhizons, air fills the voids left by extracted porewater; combined with the membrane’s design to exclude air, some of the aqueous CO2 diffuses into these air bubbles instead of the sampler. Rhizons produce reliable calcium, strontium, manganese and barium concentration data when soaked in deionized water and then flushed with the sample immediately prior to sampling. However, porewater extractions with Rhizons are less reliable for analyses of pH and δ13C(DIC). Centrifugation produces reliable carbonate chemistry and major element data when tubes are fully filled without headspace and sealed tightly. Working in CO2 low/free atmosphere (e.g., N2 glovebox) enhances the chance of losing CO2 from the sample in both sampling techniques due to increased negative gradient of CO2 between the core and its surrounding.
This study was funded through NERC grant NE/S001344/1 to AVT and the University of Calgary CCS Initiative. ZS was supported by a Blavatnik postdoctoral fellowship by the British Council and an Eshkol fellowship by the Israeli Ministry of Science and Technology.
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/lom3.10286
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/286349
Attribution 4.0 International
Licence URL: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/