1 Aarhus University2 Department of Bioscience - Arctic Research Centre, Department of Bioscience, Science and Technology, Aarhus University3 Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC)4 Fukada Geological Institute5 JAMSTEC6 Kochi University7 Department of Bioscience - Arctic Research Centre, Department of Bioscience, Science and Technology, Aarhus University
In situ video observations and sediment core samplings were performed at two hadal sites in the Japan Trench on July, 2011, four months after the Tohoku-Oki earthquake. Video recordings documented dense nepheloid layers extending similar to 30-50 m above the sea bed. At the trench axis, benthic macrofauna was absent and dead organisms along with turbid downslope current were observed. The top 31 cm of sediment in the trench axis revealed three recent depositions events characterized by elevated Cs-137 levels and alternating sediment densities. At 4.9 km seaward from the trench axis, little deposition was observed but the surface sediment contained Cs-134 from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear disaster. We argue that diatom blooms observed by remote sensing facilitated rapid deposition of Cs-134 to hadal environment and the aftershocks induced successive sediment disturbances and maintained dense nepheloid layers in the trench even four months after the mainshock.