Skip to main content
European Commission logo print header

The critical role of sedimentary trace element fluxes in ocean biogeochemistry

Project description

Investigating the role of sedimentary trace element fluxes in ocean biogeochemistry and climate

Trace elements and isotopes (TEIs) participate in the earth’s carbon and oxygen cycles and are important for studying the ocean system and how it interacts with other earth system components. It is therefore vital to incorporate TEIs in state-of-the-art global models to better predict future changes in ocean biogeochemistry and climate. However, scientists’ inadequate grasp of the source and sink fluxes of TEIs across the sediment–water interface has hindered this effort. The EU-funded SedTraceFlux project therefore intends to constrain the sedimentary TEI fluxes and provide robust parametrisations of such fluxes suitable for global models. The TEIs it will focus on are iron, neodymium, zinc and their respective isotopes. The project’s results will benefit European ocean and climate policymakers.

Objective

Trace elements and isotopes (TEIs) are powerful tools for studying the ocean system and tracing its interaction with the other Earth System components. Many TEIs exert influence on the surface environment by participating in the global carbon and oxygen cycles. Incorporating TEIs into state-of-the-art global models is thus crucial to better predict future changes of ocean biogeochemistry and climate. This effort, however, is hampered by our limited understanding of the source and sink fluxes of TEIs across the sediment-water interface, which are recently hypothesised to play much greater roles in setting the distributions of TEIs in the ocean than previously assumed. Yet insufficient knowledge results in large uncertainties in model implementations of sedimentary fluxes, severely limiting the applications of marine TEIs. The objectives of SedTraceFlux are to constrain the sedimentary TEI fluxes and provide robust parameterizations of such fluxes suitable for global models. This project will focus on iron, neodymium, zinc and their respective isotopes, which are among the most useful TEI tools in oceanography. I will model the chemical speciation and the processes controlling the distributions of these TEIs in sediment pore water and solid phases. The resulting mechanistic parameterizations of sedimentary fluxes will be fine-tuned using Transport Matrix Methods in global biogeochemical modelling. The modelling effort will be complemented by generation of sedimentary Fe data from under-sampled locations. This project represents an ideal synergy between my ability in geochemical modelling and sediment geochemistry, and the expertise of the host group in a broad range of chemical, isotopic and global modelling approaches. It will enhance my innovative potential toward an independent researcher and strengthen the host’s international network and mobility. The results will also help inform the ocean and climate policy-making of the European Union.

æ

Coordinator

EIDGENOESSISCHE TECHNISCHE HOCHSCHULE ZUERICH
Net EU contribution
€ 191 149,44
Address
Raemistrasse 101
8092 Zuerich
Switzerland

See on map

Region
Schweiz/Suisse/Svizzera Zürich Zürich
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Links
Other funding
€ 0,00