Coastal sedimentary carbon

Sedimentary carbon

This project seeks to investigate the role coastal sediments play in the long-term storage of carbon. The aims of the project is to refine current sedimentary carbon stock estimates, understand the spatial distribution of carbon on the seafloor, determine the source of the carbon and quantify the rate at which carbon is locked away in these systems. Through an improved understanding of these factors we will be able to provide scientifically robust policy advice on managing and protecting these nationally important carbon stores.


    1. Hunt, C. A., Demšar, U., Marchant, B., Dove, D., and Austin, W. E. N., 2021. Sounding Out the Carbon: The Potential of Acoustic Backscatter Data to Yield Improved Spatial Predictions of Organic Carbon in Marine Sediments, 8:756400,

    2. Smeaton, C., Yang, H and Austin, W.E.N., 2021. Carbon burial in the mid-latitude fjords of Scotland, Marine Geology, 411,

    3. Smeaton, C., Cui, X., Bianchi, T.S., Cage, A.G., Howe, J.A. and Austin, W.E., 2021. The evolution of a coastal carbon store over the last millennium. Quaternary Science Reviews, 266, p.107081.

    4. Hunt, C.A., Demsar, U., Dove, D., Smeaton, C., Cooper, R. and Austin, W., 2020. Quantifying Marine Sedimentary Carbon: a new spatial analysis approach using seafloor acoustics, imagery, and ground-truthing data in Scotland. Frontiers in Marine Science.

    5. Bianchi, T, Arndt, S, Austin, W, Benn, DI, Bertrand, S, Cui, X, Faust, J, Koziorowska-Makuch, K, Moy, C, Savage, C, Smeaton, C, Smith, R & Syvitski, J 2020, 'Fjords as Aquatic Critical Zones (ACZs)', Earth Science Reviews, vol. In press, 103145.

    6. Lo Giudice Cappelli, E., Clarke, J., Smeaton, C., Davidson, K. and Austin, W.E.N., 2019. Organic carbon rich sediments: benthic foraminifera as bio-indicators of depositional environments. Biogeosciences. doi: 10.5194/bg-16-4183-2019

    7. Smeaton C and Austin WEN, 2019. Where’s the Carbon: Exploring the Spatial Heterogeneity of Sedimentary Carbon in Mid-Latitude Fjords. Front. Earth Sci. 7:269. doi: 10.3389/feart.2019.0026

    8. Smeaton, C. and Austin, W.E., 2017. Sources, Sinks, and Subsidies: Terrestrial Carbon Storage in Mid‐latitude Fjords. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 122(11), pp.2754-2768, doi: 10.1002/2017JG003952

    9. Smeaton, C., Austin, W.E., Davies, A., Baltzer, A., Howe, J.A. and Baxter, J.M., 2017. Scotland's forgotten carbon: a national assessment of mid-latitude fjord sedimentary stocks. Biogeosciences. doi: 10.5194/bg-14-5663-2017, 2017

    10. Smeaton, C., Austin, W., Davies, A., Baltzar, A., Abell, R.E. and Howe, J.A., 2016. Substantial stores of sedimentary carbon held in mid-latitude fjords. Biogeosciences. doi: 10.5194/bg-13-5771-2016