Contribution of river-borne soil organic carbon to the Gulf of Lions (NW Mediterranean)

J. H. Kim*, B. Zarzycka, R. Buscail, F. Petersen, J. Bonnin, W. Ludwig, S. Schouten, J. S. Sinninghe Damsté

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


We determined the spatial distribution patterns of the Branched and Isoprenoid Tetraether (BIT) index, a specific proxy of riverborne soil organic carbon (OC) input from land to the ocean, by analyzing soils from the Têt watershed (France) and surface sediments from the Gulf of Lions (NW Mediterranean) into which the Têt and Rhône Rivers flow. The BIT index pattern in the Têt watershed is heterogeneously distributed, varying between 0.2 and 1.0, with an average BIT value of 0.84 ± 0.14 (n = 58). Soil pH is the major factor controlling soil BIT values among the environmental factors considered on the basis of the statistical analysis of environmental parameters and glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraether concentrations. In the Gulf of Lions, BIT values range from 0.01 to 0.85, with higher values along the coast compared with those offshore. The soil OC contributions to the total organic carbon (TOC), estimated on the basis of the BIT index, are > 10% along the coast, whereas those from the outer shelf and the continental slope are < 10%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)507-518
Number of pages12
JournalLimnology and Oceanography
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2010
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Contribution of river-borne soil organic carbon to the Gulf of Lions (NW Mediterranean)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this