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Fingerprinting bioactive trace elements in a changing Arctic Ocean


Project Description

Project Rationale:
The Arctic Ocean is undergoing dramatic environmental change and has warmed twice as fast as the rest of the planet. The reduction in sea-ice has increased primary production [1] however, predicted future changes in primary production remain uncertain as the source of bioactive trace elements such as iron, zinc and cobalt essential for phytoplankton growth are hotly debated. Sea-ice melt is predicted to limit primary production while enhanced trace metal inputs can be observed from shelf seas [2]. Critically, our ability to constrain current trace metal supply from meltwater and shelf seas requires a better understanding of the cycling between dissolved and particulate phases, and the time scales governing these processes.
The aim of this study is to fingerprint the sources and quantify the fluxes of bioactive trace metals in the Eastern Arctic Ocean. This will involve collecting seawater samples and observational data across environmental gradients (temperature, nutrients, metals) and combing this with novel radium isotope methods. This work will provide essential rates of supply of bioactive trace elements from shelf waters and ice melt to underpin our understanding of trace metal supply to primary productivity and hence the carbon cycle in the Arctic Ocean under future ice-free conditions.

Funding Notes

You can apply for fully-funded studentships (stipend and fees) from INSPIRE if you:
Are a UK or EU national.
Have no restrictions on how long you can stay in the UK.
Have been 'ordinarily resident' in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the project.

Please click View Website for more information on eligibilty and how to apply

References

[1] Arrigo, K.R., van Dijken, G.L. (2015) Continued increases in Arctic Ocean primary production. Progress in Oceanography, 136, 60-70.
[2] Rijkenberg, M.J.A, Slagter, H.A., van der Loeff, M.R., van Ooijen, J & Gerringa, L.J.A. (2018) Dissolved Fe in the deep and Upper Arctic Ocean with a focus on Fe limitation in the Nansen Basin. Front. Mar. Sci., doi:10.3389/fmars.20180088
[3] Annett, A.L., S.F Henley, P. van Beek, M. Souhaut, R. Ganeshram, H.J. Venables, M.P. Meredith, W. Geibert. (2013) Use of radium isotopes to estimate mixing rates and trace sediment inputs to surface waters in northern Marguerite Bay (Antarctic Peninsula). Antarctic Science. 25(3): 445.

How good is research at University of Southampton in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 68.62

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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