EOSC 472 · Chemical Oceanography and Marine Geochemistry

Controls on chemical composition and elemental distributions in seawater and marine sediments (including nutrient elements, dissolved gases, the carbonate system, marine organic matter, and trace metals); solution chemistry of seawater; isotopic tracers of rates and dates in marine systems; geochemical balance in the oceans. [3-0-2*] Prerequisite: EOSC 373.

Course Availability & Schedule

Learning Goals

General Goals:

  1. Communicate science both orally and in writing
  2. Read, summarize and critically review current scientific literature 

Content Specific Goals:

  1. Describe the processes which control the composition of seawater
  2. Describe the sources and sinks of elements to/from the oceans
  3. Describe the processes which control the distribution of elements in the oceans
  4. Predict the chemical form of elements in seawater (from basic chemical principles)
  5. Using words and equations, show how the salts in seawater effect speciation (be able to use and convert between activity coefficients, side reaction coefficients, the ”fraction free” and conditional stability constants)
  6. Evaluate the influence of biological processes on the fluxes and transformations of elements through the oceans and into marine sediments
  7. Describe how rates and dates are determined in the oceans – how do we know the timescales involved in the cycling of elements in marine systems?

Instructors

Kristin Orians

Lecture Topics

 

Week Topic
1-3 I. DESCRIPTIVE CHEMICAL OCEANOGRAPHY
A. Major elements and salinity; residence time
B. Descriptive physical oceanography
C. Dissolved gases
D. The carbonate system
E. Nutrient elements
F. Trace elements
4-6 II. SOLUTION CHEMISTRY OF SEAWATER AND/OR CHEMICAL SPECIATION
A. Introduction to chemical thermodynamics
B. Complexes and ion pairs
C. Major ions and their speciation
D. Environmental parameter pH
E. Environmental parameter p
F. Trace elements - inorganic speciation
G. Organic complexation
H. Biological interactions - trace metal bioavailability
7-9 III. THE CHEMISTRY OF LIFE: MAJOR BIOLOGICAL CYCLES
A. Production and destruction of organic carbon
C. Calcium carbonate and Opal production and preservation
B. Organic matter in marine sediments: diagenesis
10-11 IV. MAJOR GEOCHEMICAL CYCLES: SOURCES AND SINKS
A. Sediment composition and cycling
B. Riverine and atmospheric input
C. Hydrothermal circulation
12 V. ISOTOPE TRACERS OF OCEANIC PROCESSES
A. Radionuclides: 14C, Th, U
B. Stable isotopes: 13C, 18O
13 VI. STUDENT PRESENTATIONS