Department or Program



This project uses geochemical analyses of sediment cores from various sources and GIS to estimate the amount of carbon stored in Maine coast tidal marshes. Sedimentary carbon content values of Maine salt marsh sediments were compiled from dissertations, theses and previously published papers and mapped using GIS. Areas where few previous datasets exist were identified, and targeted for coring and carbon density analysis for this study. The goal was to have carbon density data from three to five sites from each of the four Maine coastal compartments, defined by (Kelley et al,. 1987). Between one and five sediment cores were taken at each targeted marsh site. Cores were subsampled every 10 cm for bulk density and carbon content. The EA-C-IRMS in the Environmental Geochemistry Laboratory at Bates College was used to determine % carbon values. The average carbon density values from all 58 cores available from existing data sets, and generated data sets for each coastal compartments for the upper 1m are as follows: The Arcuate Embayment 0.040 +/- 0.01 gC/cm3, the Island-Bay Complex 0.041 +/- 0.01 gC/cm3, the Indented Shoreline 0.037 +/-0.001 gC/cm3 and the Cliffed Shoreline 0.031 +/- 0.001 gC/cm3. The average carbon density values were determined for each coastal compartment and multiplied by the surface area of salt marsh to generate carbon stocks. Comparisons of carbon stocks among the different coastal compartments will be made, as will estimates for total carbon stored in Maine salt marshes. As well as different calculated surface areas to generate several whole state wide carbon stocks.

Level of Access

Restricted: Embargoed [Open Access After Expiration]

First Advisor

Beverly Johnson

Date of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Number of Pages


Open Access

Available to all.