Periodic Report Summary 2 - SOMFLOOD (Compositional changes of sedimentary organic matter from a 100-year flood deposit: insights into event-driven processes in the coastal ocean)
Our main working hypotheses were:
1) The composition of particulate and dissolved material along distributary channels changes as the river discharge increases;
2) Each distributary channel exhibits its own distinctive temporal trend with increasing water discharge.
Contrarily to our working hypotheses, the material collected along the distributary channels was relatively homogenous indicating that the morphology of the prodelta does not affect the composition of the organic material. In addition, the organic composition did not exhibit significant changes with time indicating that the source of the particles is relatively similar and independent of the river discharge, although our time-series analysis highlighted significant spotty resuspension events along distributary channels. However, our dataset was acquired when the discharge range was relatively limited (from 1 500 to 4 000 m3 s-1). As the Po river can experience floods exceeding 8 000 m3 s-1, further work is needed to understand the role of large floods events in the transfer of material from land to the coastal system.