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

Research project: Sediment-water column exchange of nutrients in coastal and shelf-sea waters

Currently Active: 

Understanding the effects of resuspension and pore-water advection on sediment water-column nutrient and carbon exchange using novel in-situ, ship-board and laboratory experiments.

Coastal and shelf seas are shallow, and undergo sediment resuspension events caused by both natural events and anthropogenic activity. The project aims to understand the effect that these resuspension effects have on nutrient fluxes to the overlying water and any subsequent impact on water chemistry and thus primary production. This is a multidisciplinary, processes oriented study that incorporates in situ fieldwork, laboratory work and modelling.

A series of research cruises were carried out in the North Sea aboard the Cefas Endeavour as part of the Cefas/Defra Marine Ecosystems Connections Program. An in situ flume (Voyager II) was deployed at three sites inducing erosion to allow the measurement of nutrient fluxes. Alongside this, smaller annular flumes were used on ship and in the laboratory to give high-resolution measurements of nutrient fluxes during resuspension events. The data from these experiments will be incorporated into a diagenic model, to model the effect that resuspension events have on the nutrient cycle.

Dates: 2007-2011

Funding agencies: NERC, DEFRA, CEFAS

PI: Dr Gary Fones, University of Portsmouth

CI: Professor Peter Statham

PhDs and Other Opportunities


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