Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

No oxygen in Eastern Mediterranean bottom-water

29.09.2008
Research from Utrecht University shows that there is an organic-rich bed of sediment in the floor of the Eastern Mediterranean. This bed formed over a period of about 4000 years under oxygen-free bottom-water conditions.

A wet climatic period was responsible for the phenomenon. According to climate scenarios, the climate may become wetter in this area, potentially giving rise again to a period of oxygen-free bottom-water. These results are published in the September issue of Nature Geoscience.

Alternating organic-rich and organic-poor beds have been deposited on the floor of the Eastern Mediterranean. These deposits coincide with the alternation of wet and dry climatic periods. Researchers believe that the organic-rich beds, called sapropels, can originate in two ways: 1. More organisms live in the surface water because, for example, rivers introduce more nutrients. As a result, more organisms sink to the bottom when they die. 2. The organic material is better preserved. If dead organisms sink to an oxygen-free bottom, the organic material breaks down less well.

Sapropel
Gert de Lange investigated the most recently developed bed, sapropel S1. This bed formed between 9800 and 5700 years ago. At that time, an increased influx of fresh water during a wet climatic period led to the formation of this organic-rich bed. This formation occurred simultaneously over the entire Eastern Mediterranean at water depths of more than 200 metres. During this 4100-year period, the deep Eastern Mediterranean was found to be devoid of oxygen at water depths below 1800 metres. Going upward from this depth level, the organic content of sapropel S1 decreases corresponding to an increasing average oxygen content and concomitant breakdown of the organic material.

This research shows that there is a high chance of finding organic-rich deposits in an environment devoid of oxygen. Climate change may contribute to the formation of organic-rich beds. Besides sequestering large quantities of CO2, these separated beds can also be converted into oil over the course of time.

This research forms part of the PASS project, a marine programme in the Eastern Mediterranean. NWO Earth and Life Sciences financed the necessary logistics, such as ship and equipment lease via the National Research Cruise Programme.

Kim van den Wijngaard | alfa
Further information:
http://www.nwo.nl/nwohome.nsf/pages/NWOA_7JHJ49_Eng

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Gran Chaco: Biodiversity at High Risk
17.01.2018 | Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

nachricht Dead trees are alive with fungi
10.01.2018 | Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ)

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

Im Focus: A thermometer for the oceans

Measurement of noble gases in Antarctic ice cores

The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Gran Chaco: Biodiversity at High Risk

17.01.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Only an atom thick: Physicists succeed in measuring mechanical properties of 2D monolayer materials

17.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Fraunhofer HHI receives AIS Technology Innovation Award 2018 for 3D Human Body Reconstruction

17.01.2018 | Awards Funding

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>