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Marine Geochemistry

The transfer of particles, whether particulate organic matter, biogenic silica, calcareous shells, or minerals from surface waters into sediments couples present day processes in surface waters with the geological record.

In the opposite direction, the release of gases, fluids or nutrients from sediments affects surface waters as well as the air-sea exchange of gases like methane or DMS (Dimethylsulfide), which are relevant for climate.

In the Marine Geochemistry group, we are investigating such processes and fluxes by application of natural radionuclides, the chemical composition of sediments and pore waters as well as analysis of the concentration and composition of gases in the water column and in the sediment.


Our research themes

Sediment water transition zone

  • Assessment of fluxes and turnover processes of nutrient and trace components along the  sediment water transition zone (SWTZ).
  • Release of gases and fluids from sediments (e.g. at gas flares or pockmarks) and its impact on the composition of the water column.
  • Studies about the age and origin or organic matter found in sediments, which provides a valuable tool for the understanding of sedimentation processes, delivery mechanisms and turnover rates. 


GIS intends to display the environment by an overlay of several information layers.

Natural radionuclides

Quantification of the particle fluxes through the ocean by analysis of natural radionuclides like Th, Pa, Pb.


Early diagenetic overprint of proxies

Quantification of early diagenetic overprint of proxies used for reconstructions of paleoenvironments.


Analyses with Geo-Information Systems (GIS)

GIS are used for the visualisation and spatial analysis of georeferenced data (measurements ultimately linked to the position of observation or sampling). Furthermore, we use GIS to identify geochemical provinces of specific ecological value by applying multivariate methods.


Development of equipment and methods

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