Collection, analysis, and age-dating of sediment cores from a salt marsh platform and ponds, Rowley, Massachusetts, 2014-15
Sediment cores were collected from three sites within the Plum Island Ecosystems Long-Term Ecological Research (PIE-LTER) domain in Massachusetts to obtain estimates of long-term marsh decomposition and evaluate shifts in the composition and reactivity of sediment organic carbon in disturbed marsh environments. Paired sediment cores were collected from three sites on the marsh platform and from three ponds; these cores were about 100 and 50 centimeters in length, respectively. The marsh sites had similar elevations, at about 1.41 to 1.51 meters relative to the North American Vertical Datum of 1988, and similar salt marsh grass communities, dominated by Spartina patens, S. alterniflora, and Distichlis spicata. Permanently inundated ponds within each site had comparable depths (0.24–0.30 meters) but varied in size (between 643 and 7,149 square meters; Spivak et al., 2017, 2018). The U.S. Geological Survey analyzed radioisotope concentrations for lead-210, radium-226, cesium-127, and beryllium-7 from six marsh cores and three pond cores to develop an age model for each core. This data release includes calculated percent dry bulk density and raw radioisotope data for these cores.
Spivak, A.C., Gosselin, K., Howard, E., Mariotti, G., Forbrich, I., Stanley, R., and Sylva, S.P., 2017, Shallow ponds are heterogeneous habitats within a temperate salt marsh ecosystem: Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences, 122(6), 1371-1384.
Spivak, A. C., Gosselin, K. M., and Sylva, S.P., 2018, Shallow ponds are biogeochemically distinct habitats in salt marsh ecosystems: Limnology and Oceanography, 63(4), 1622-1642.
Field collection of the data was by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, with lab analyses taking place at the USGS Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center.