Dispersal of suspended matter in Makasar Strait and the Flores Basin
Faculty of Sciences. Chemistry
Netherlands journal of sea research. - Texel
, p. 383-398
University of Antwerp
In November 1984 in Makasar and the Flores Basin water samples were collected (T, S, dissolved O2, total CO2), bottom samples (sediment composition) and suspended matter (particle composition, particle size). A sediment trap was moored in the Flores Basin at 4600 m depth for nearly four months, covering the dry season. In the Flores Basin there are indications for bottom flow resuspending bottom material or preventing suspended material from settling; in Makasar Strait there is probably inflow of deep water both from the south and from the north, resulting in a very slow bottom water flor. Bottom deposits in Makasar Strait and the Flores Basin are predominantly terrigenous, with an admixture of organic carbonate and silica (mostly coccoliths). Volcanic material is primarily present near to the volcanoes in the south and reaches the deeper basins by slumping. In the suspended matter no volcanic particles and little planktonic material were found, although the latter form 10 to 15% of the top sediment and of the material deposited in the sediment trap. In suspension particles with a large concentration of tin (Sn) were found associated mainly with iron. They probably come from northern Kalimantan or northern Sulawesi. Suspended matter concentrations were mainly less than 0.5 mg·dm−3, only off the Mahakam river mouth were concentrations higher than 1 mg·dm−3. Particle size was erratic because of the variable composition of the coarser particles in suspension. Organic matter concentrations in suspension (in mg·dm−3) roughly follow the distribution of total suspended matter but organic content (in %) of the suspended matter does not show any trends. All organic matter in suspension is of marine origin except in the Mahakam river and estuary. Deposition rates, as estimated from the sediment trap results, are 150 mg·cm−2·a−1 for the total sediment, 26 mg·cm−2·a−1 for carbonate and 13 mg·cm−2·a−1 for organic matter. Flocs and fibres in suspension were only found in and below the Mahakam river plume that reaches ca 400 km from the river mouth to the southeast, and in surface waters associated with plankton (diatoms). The formation of these flocs (broken-up macroflocs or marine snow) is primarily related to particle concentration, turbulence, and the presence of organisms that produce sticky material or glue particles together.