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Scottish continental shelf sediments

Shelf sediments

It is understood that the seabed is a long-term store of organic, however there are gaps in our knowledge of more specifically where this carbon is found. Spatial mapping will play an integral component to understanding where organic carbon is likely to be and to create a first-order estimation of the surface organic carbon stock. This project is focused on understanding the spatial distribution of organic carbon within the diverse seabed sediments on the Scottish continental shelf. The project will also combine archived and contemporary seabed samples for carbon analysis to characterize spatial hotspots of sedimentary carbon on the Scottish continental shelf.


    1. Smeaton, C. and Austin, W. E. N., 2022. Quality Not Quantity: Prioritizing the Management of Sedimentary Organic Matter Across Continental Shelf Seas, Geophysical Research Letters, 49(5),

    2. Smeaton, C., Hunt, C.A., Turrell, W.R. and Austin, W.E., 2021. Marine Sedimentary Carbon Stocks of the United Kingdom’s Exclusive Economic Zone. Frontiers in Earth Science, 9, p.50.

    3. Smeaton, C., Austin, W. and Turrell, W.R. 2020. Re-Evaluating Scotland’s Sedimentary Carbon Stocks. Scottish Marine and Freshwater Science Vol 11 No 2, 16pp. doi: 10.7489/12267-1

    4. Smeaton, C., Hunt, C.A., Turrell, W.R. and Austin, W.E.N. 2021. Organic and inorganic carbon content of surficial sediments within Scottish adjacent waters. doi: 10.7489/12353-1
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