Submitted as: model description paper 08 Mar 2021

Submitted as: model description paper | 08 Mar 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

OMEN-SED(-RCM) (v1.1): A pseudo reactive continuum representation of organic matter degradation dynamics for OMEN-SED

Philip Pika1, Dominik Hülse2, and Sandra Arndt1 Philip Pika et al.
  • 1BGeosys, Department Geoscience, Environment & Society (DGES), Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium
  • 2Department of Earth Sciences, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA

Abstract. OMEN-SED is a one-dimensional, analytical reaction-transport model for early diagenesis in marine sediments. It explicitly resolves organic matter (OM) degradation and associated biogeochemical terminal electron acceptor, reduced species and nutrient dynamics in porous media under steady state conditions. OMEN-SED has been specifically designed for the coupling to global Earth System Models and the analytical solution of the coupled set of mass conservation equations ensures the computational efficiency required for such a coupling. To find an analytic solution, OMEN-SED expresses all explicitly resolved biogeochemical processes as a function of OM degradation. The original version of OMEN-SED contains a relatively simple description of OM degradation based on two reactive OM classes, a so-called 2-G model. However, such a simplified approach does not fully account for the widely observed continuous decrease in organic matter reactivity with burial depth/time. The reactive continuum model that accounts for the continuous distribution of organic compounds over the reactive spectrum represents an alternative and more realistic description, but cannot be easily incorporated within the general OMEN-SED framework. Here, we extend the diagenetic framework of OMEN-SED with a multi-G approximation of the reactive continuum model (RCM) of organic matter degradation by using a finite, but large number of OM fractions, each characterized by a distinct reactivity. The RCM and its multi-G approximation are fully constrained by only two free parameters, α and ν, that control the initial distribution of OM compounds over the reactivity spectrum. The new model is not only able to reproduce observed pore water profiles, sediment-water interface fluxes and redox zonation across a wide range of depositional environments, but also provides a more realistic description of anaerobic degradation pathways. The added functionality extends the applicability of OMEN-SED to a broader range of environments and timescales, while requiring fewer parameters to simulate a wider spectrum of OM reactivities.

Philip Pika et al.

Status: open (until 13 May 2021)

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Philip Pika et al.

Model code and software

OMEN-SED(-RCM) (v1.1): A pseudo reactive continuum representation of organic matter degradation dynamics for OMEN-SED Philip Pika, Dominik Hülse, and Sandra Arndt

Philip Pika et al.


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