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The University of Southampton
Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton

Research project: Micronutrient inputs from sediments to seawater

Currently Active: 

Seafloor reactions promote the dissolution and flux of important micronutrient metals, such as iron (Fe), from sediments, which stimulate the growth of phytoplankton and removal or CO2 from the atmosphere in regions such as the South Atlantic.

Phytoplankton bloom in nutrient rich and sunlit surface waters of the South Atlantic. Source: NASA Earth Observatory, Dec. 21st 2010
Phytoplankton bloom


Geochemistry staff Prof. Rachel Mills and Dr Will Homoky are active partners of the UK GEOTRACES consortium leading the exploration of micronutrient fluxes between sediments and the oceans to better understand the ocean's role in climate.





Sediments from the edge to the interior of the South Atlantic Ocean floor. Dark green colors reflects greater amounts of organic carbon. (Source: W Homoky)
Sediments from Ocean floor

Exploration and Discovery

Elemental and isotope analyses of dissolved and particulate phases on the seafloor are used to identify the nature of reactions occurring in different regions of the ocean. Results reveal and quantify micronutrient source-regions of the ocean and enable the discovery new mechanisms of land to ocean exchange.


Seafloor reactions in sediments and bottom water regulate the dissolution and transfer of iron (Fe) to the ocean. (Source: Homoky et al 2012)
Seafloor reactions

Related Project Pages

International GEOTRACES


Key Contacts

Prof. Rachel Mills

Dr William Homoky

PhDs and Other Opportunities


Associated research themes

Past Present and Future Environmental Change

Related research groups


Key Publication

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