The Abundance and Distribution of Transparent Exopolymer Particles in the Turbidity Maximum Region of Chesapeake Bay
Malpezzi, Michael A.
Crump, Byron C
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Transparent exopolymer particle (TEP) concentrations were measured in the turbidity maximum (ETM) region of Chesapeake Bay during eight research cruises over a two-year period. TEP concentrations ranged from <100 to >2500 ug XG eq l^-1 and accounted for an estimated average of 31% ± 14 of POC. Spatially averaged TEP and chl a concentrations were positively correlated over the two year period, although these parameters were rarely correlated within cruises. Peak TEP concentrations were often separated from chl a maxima, suggesting that formation and concentration processes are more responsible for TEP concentrations than the proximity to precursor source material. Significant correlations between TEP and phaeophytin, POC, DOC, TSS and level of stratification were observed during some sampling periods. Settling tube experiments revealed a positive correlation between TEP concentration and the fraction of settling particulate matter. A hypothetical model for TEP formation and concentration in estuaries is proposed.