Office of Academic Affairs
Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Bhopal

Earth and Environmental Sciences

EES 422/423: Marine Biogeochemical Cycles (4)

Prerequisites (Desirable): EES 308

Learning Objectives:

The growing interest of our scientific community to explore the contemporary and past oceans using geochemical and isotope data of marine samples requires a comprehensive understanding of various elemental sources to, and sinks within the oceans, and elemental behavior during particle–seawater interactions. The designed course contents enable students to trace various natural marine biogeochemical processes, environmental factors, and human perturbations on the cycling of various elements.

Course Contents:

Oceanic Influxes:
Riverine/eolian transfer of continental materials, submarine ground water discharge and hydrothermal/cosmic supply; Invasion of atmospheric gases; Boundary exchange; Modification of riverine flux of non-conservative elements in estuaries; Chemistry of marine aerosols; Particle dissolution at air–sea interface; Benthic fluxes; Low/high temperature particle–seawater interactions; Relative magnitudes of various influxes.

Internal Cycling:
Oceanic residence times of dissolved constituents, their physical transport through water advection, isopycnal/diapynal mixing, reversible scavenging; Two box model; Bulk saturation state of seawater; mineral precipitation in microenvironments; Carbon partitioning in biological, carbonate and solubility pump; Organic matter remineralization, and associated consumption/production of dissolved gases and authigenic minerals.

Oceanic Outfluxes:
Outgassing at air–sea interface; Biotic/abiotic precipitation of different minerals, their growth rates, spatial distributions and removal from water column via particle scavenging; Diagenesis at sediment–seawater interface; Overall oceanic budgets of major nutrients (C, N, P and Si) and key trace elements.

Human Perturbations and Past Variations in Global Biogeochemical Cycles:

Coastal eutrophication and hypoxia; Ocean acidification; Sea level rise; Geochemical and isotope records of various marine and terrestrial archives; Reconstructions of past pCO2 levels, marine productivity, oxygenation, temperature, and oceanic/atmospheric circulation.

Suggested Readings :

  1. The Open University, 2005, Marine Biogeochemical Cycles, 2nd edition, Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann Ltd.
  2. Libes, S., 2009, Introduction to Marine Biogeochemistry (2nd edition), Elsevier Academic Press.
  3. Emerson, S., and Hedges, J., 2008, Chemical Oceanography and the Marine Carbon Cycle (1st Edition), Cambridge University Press.
  4. Zeebe, R. E., and Wolf-Gladrow, D., 2001, CO2 in Seawater: Equilibrium, Kinetics and Isotopes (1st Edition), Elsevier Science.
  5. Turekian K. K., Holland, H. D., and Elderfield, H., 2003, The Oceans and Marine Geochemistry: Treatise on Geochemistry (1st Edition), Pergamon.
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