Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Publication Date



This report describes a pilot study conducted at the DOE Subsurface Science Program's study site in Oyster, VA. The objective of this study was to examine whether 2 organic matter associated with the solid and dissolved phases was labile enough to support microbial activity. Organic matter availability was assessed in two ways: (1) by quantifying the amount and distribution of total organic carbon (TOC) associated with the solid phase and (2) laboratory experiments to examine the utilization of dissolved organic matter by measuring total microbial respiration. In addition to assessing total respiration, we specifically addressed organic matter respiration via denitrification. The focus on denitrification was due to the environmental field conditions at the study site (low concentrations of dissolved oxygen and high nitrate concentrations) suggesting that nitrate respiration would be a likely process for organic matter utilization.


A final data report submitted to the Batelle [sic] Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.


Estuarine sediments -- Virginia -- Oyster -- Analysis, Carbon cycle (Biogeochemistry