The marine environmental effect of Saharan-dust deposition in the Atlantic Ocean
Million tons of Saharan dust are depositied into the Atlantic every year. This brings both refractory lithogenic material and new nutrients into the system, affecting primary production and particle export that transfers CO2 from the surface into the deep ocean.
① The wind blows dust through the atmosphere
② Dust minerals contain nutrients and metals
③ Dust is deposited into the ocean - wet or dry deposition
④ Nutrients may be released into the water
⑤ Bioavailable fraction is used by the phytoplankton
⑥ Phytoplankton conducts photosynthesis and consume CO2
⑦ Phytoplankton is eaten by zooplankton
⑧ Dead cells and fecal pellets aggregate & sink to the bottom
⑨ Remaining organic matter settles out the water column and reaches the ocean floor
⑩ CO2 is sequestered
In order to determine the fluxes involved, an array of sediment traps were moored at 1200 m and 3500 m depth at five stations along a transect at approximately 12⁰N to monitor setteling particle fluxes for three years. Every year these sediment traps were serviced.
at present: PhD student Royal NIOZ (DUSTTRAFFIC project)
2010 - 2013: MSc at the University of Bremen with specialisation in Isotope Geochemistry
2006 - 2009: BSc at the University of Münster with specialisation in Sedimentology and Hydrogeology
Korte, L. F., Brummer, G. J. A., van der Does, M., Guerreiro, C. V., Hennekam, R., van Hateren, J. A., Jong, D., Munday, C. I., Schouten, S., and Stuut, J. B. W.: Downward particle fluxes of biogenic matter and Saharan dust across the equatorial North Atlantic, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 6023-6040, 10.5194/acp-17-6023-2017, 2017.