This project will take advantage of the passage of Hurricane Ida across the northern Gulf of Mexico shelf in August, 2021 to study important aspects of the cycling of silica in coastal sediments. In coastal systems, water column primary productivity is dominated by diatoms, a group of phytoplankton which produce a shell of amorphous biogenic silica. This biogenic silica can either be buried in its original unaltered form or undergo chemical reactions that convert it to aluminosilicate minerals (e.
Collaborative Research: Understanding substrate limitation and Lithium and Silicon isotope fractionation during secondary clay formation in marine systems
A long-standing topic of investigation in the field of chemical oceanography is understanding the processes that deliver elements to, and remove them from, seawater. There has long been a “missing sink” in the global marine silicon (Si) budget in that removal to sediments did not appear to balance the inputs from rivers. Several decades ago, it was postulated that “reverse weathering” in marine sediments could be this missing sink. In this process, the weathering process that takes place on land, whereby silicon is removed from minerals and dissolved in water, would be reversed and these minerals would be reconstituted in marine sediments through the formation of clays.