The MAST contribution to the EROS Phase II Project on biogeochemical processes in the marine coastal environment is focused on particles and sediment water interactions. Its main objectives are:
- to investigate the sources and physico-chemical characteristics of suspended particulate matter in coastal waters and of bottom sediment;
- to evaluate the transport, vertical and advective fluxes of suspended particulate matter and deposition;
- to better understand the behaviour of substances associated with the particulate phase (trace elements, organic compounds, radionuclides).
The sources and pathways of natural and anthropogenic nutrients and other organic and inorganic compounds in the European coastal environments were investigated. The mechanisms and rates of the processes controlling exchanges internal cycling and fluxes of these compounds were studied. Regional biogeochemical models were constructed to predict the long term consequences of man made changes.
The analyses of particle surface characteristics and magnetic properties required new approaches, and near techniques have been developed in the laboratory and in the field. Results on particle composition, sedimentation rates and fluxes have contributed to the estimation of the origin of the particulate matter in the northwestern Mediterranean, and of the fluxes and depositional history of particulate matter, trace metals, radionuclides and organic matter associated with particles in this area.
The implementation of the research implies sampling of particulate material during oceanographic campaigns in a selected pilot area of the North Western Mediterranean Sea, using techniques such as water filtration, collection of sediment cores, deployment of moored and drifted sediment traps for flux studies and in situ camera for grain size analysis. In addition, laboratory investigations are planned in order to determine the composition and properties of the collected samples, including surface and magnetic properties.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
1790 AB Texel, Den Burg