Oxygen Consumption in Permeable and Cohesive Sediments of the Gulf of Aqaba

Valeria Boyko, Adi Torfstein, Alexey Kamyshny*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Oxygen profiles were measured in the sediments of the Gulf of Aqaba (Red Sea), an oligotrophic marine system affected by episodic seasonal flash floods and intense aeolian dry deposition. Sediment cores were retrieved from shallow (15–45 m), intermediate (250–561 m) and deep (700 m) water sites of south–north and east–west transects. Dissolved oxygen concentrations were measured simultaneously by using microelectrodes and microoptodes immediately after sampling and after transportation. Oxygen penetration depths were found to increase from 2 to 5 mm at the shallow water sites with sandy permeable sediments to 10–21 mm at the deeper sites with cohesive muddy sediments. This increase corresponds to decrease in oxygen diffusive fluxes at the sediment–water interface and oxygen consumption rates with depth. Oxygen consumption rates exhibit local maxima at the oxic–anoxic sediment boundary, which may be attributed to oxygen reduction coupled to oxidation of dissolved Fe(II) and Mn(II) at deep and intermediate water sites and of hydrogen sulfide at shallow water sites. Microelectrodes and microoptodes measurements of cohesive sediments from deep and intermediate water sites yielded similar results. By comparison, the microoptodes displayed more robust measurements than microelectrodes in sandy near-shore sediments. This was attributed to their flexible fiber structure that is less likely to break or to abruptly displace sand particles. After transportation of sediment cores from Eilat to Beer Sheva followed by ≤ 24-h storage, no changes in oxygen fluxes and consumption rates were detected.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)165-193
Number of pages29
JournalAquatic Geochemistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, Springer Nature B.V.


  • Diffusive boundary layer
  • Gulf of Aqaba
  • Microelectrodes
  • Microoptodes
  • Oxygen consumption
  • Oxygen penetration depth
  • Sediment–water interface


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