Marine Environment Around Iceland: Hydrography, Sediments and First Predictive Models of Icelandic Deep-sea Sediment Characteristics

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Sediment samples and hydrographic conditions were studied at 28 stations around Iceland. At these sites, Conductivity-Temperature-Depth (CTD) casts were coducted to collect hydrographic data and multicorer casts were conducted to collect data on sediment characteristics including grain size distribution, carbon and nitrogen concentration, and chloroplastic pigment concentration. A total of 14 environmental predictors were used to model sediment characteristics around Iceland on regional scale. Two approaches were used: Multivariate Adaptation Regression Splines (MARS) and randomForest regression models. RandomForest outperformed MARS in predicting grain size distribution. MARS models had a greater tendency to over-and underpredict sediment values in areas outside the environmental envelope defined by the training dataset. We provide first GIS layers on sediment characteristics around Iceland, that can be used as predictors in future models. Although models performed well, more samples, especially from the shelf areas, will be needed to improve the models in future.

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