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Burial and dynamic of organic carbon on the continental shelves

Bao launched a detailed 14C-based investigation on bulk organic matter, thermally-resolved organic carbon fractions, and specific biomarkers across a spectrum of grain size fractions of continental shelf sediments. Bao and his collaborators demonstrated that hydrodynamic processes are a key modulator of organic carbon dynamics during sedimentary organic matter lateral transport on continental margins. The lateral pumping of variably-aged organic carbon in different grain size sediments induces marked heterogeneity of 14C ages and appears to be a global phenomenon on continental margins. The pre-old organic carbon can also be transported into deep ocean trigged by geological events. Our findings shed new light on the nature and dynamics of organic carbon supply to deep ocean.