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Sea level rise produces abundant organobromines in salt-affected coastal wetlands

C. Joe-Wong1,†,

1Department of Chemistry, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
Current address: Department of Geological Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA

D.R. Schlesinger2,

2Department of Geosciences, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA

A.T. Chow3,

3Biogeochemistry and Environmental Quality Research Group, Clemson University, Georgetown, SC 29440, USA

S.C.B. Myneni2

2Department of Geosciences, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA

Affiliations  |  Corresponding Author  |  Cite as  |  Funding information

Joe-Wong, C., Schlesinger, D.R., Chow, A.T., Myneni, S.C.B. (2019) Sea level rise produces abundant organobromines in salt-affected coastal wetlands. Geochem. Persp. Let. 10, 31–35.

National Science Foundation Geobiology program (award 1529927 to Clemson University and 1529956 to Princeton University); National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship; Department of Defense; Princeton University; Stanford University.

Geochemical Perspectives Letters v10  |  doi: 10.7185/geochemlet.1911
Received 18 January 2019  |  Accepted 26 March 2019  |  Published 23 April 2019
Copyright © The Authors

Published by the European Association of Geochemistry
under Creative Commons License CC BY-NC-ND 4.0




Figure 1 (a) Cl and (b) Br XANES spectra of top layer of sediments (~0-4 cm) on top (black) and standards (grey) at the bottom. Cl standards are chlorophenol red, chlorodecane, and NaCl (aq) for aromatic, aliphatic, and inorganic Cl respectively. Br standards are bromophenol blue, 1-bromoeicosane, and KBr for aromatic, aliphatic, and inorganic Br respectively. Grey dotted and dashed lines show the spectral maxima for aliphatic and aromatic organohalogen standards respectively.
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Figure 2 The concentration and speciation of Br (left, blue y axis) and Cl (right, black y axis) in sediments as a function of salinity (x axis) in Winyah Bay, South Carolina. All concentrations are the average of samples from different depths and two cores. Vertical error bars show the standard error and are in some cases smaller than the points.
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Figure 3 (a) Total Br and (b) organically bound Br produced in Br--reacted soil samples as a function of increasing aqueous Br- concentrations. Filled shapes (●) represent saturated conditions (mimicking salt marsh conditions) and open shapes (○) represent wet/dry conditions (mimicking salt-affected wetland conditions). Vertical gray dotted line shows Br- concentration in seawater in both panels. Error bars are based on replicate XRF analyses (total Br and organic Br) and error from XANES linear combination fitting for organic Br.
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Figure 4 Schematic diagram showing organic carbon bromination and release of volatile organobromines occurring during coastal flooding by seawater. The reactions begin with seawater intrusion (1), followed by highly favourable Brorg production aided by geochemical conditions (2, 3), and ultimately the breakdown and release of this Brorg as volatile compounds into the atmosphere (4).
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