The large-scale oceanic distribution of trace elements: disentangling preformed contributions, regenerative processes, subsurface sources and sinks

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Grantham Institute for Climate Change

Abstract

Elements present in seawater in quantities so small that they do not affect salinity are called "trace elements". In spite of their low abundances, trace metals can play disproportionally large roles in controlling the dynamics of marine ecosystems. This is because some are necessary for the proper functioning of important enzymes and proteins and must thus be supplied in sufficient quantities to maintain phytoplankton populations. There are regions in the ocean where key metals, particularly iron (Fe), are lacking in proportion to the other nutrients, what limits biological productivity. Why some micronutrients are lacking in some region and not others is not fully understood; the processes that govern the natural cycles of these metals are not well known. This gap in understanding is partly due to the difficulty of measuring trace metals in the ocean: trace metals are present in very small quantities and water samples are taken from metallic research ships, making measurements prone to contamination. Reliable techniques to routinely measure trace metals in seawater have only been recently developed. Thanks to them, the accuracy of the data and data coverage over the oceans have improved dramatically over the last few years. With this project, I aim to improve the general understanding of the cycling of trace metals, particularly the micronutrients, by analyzing the newest and most complete trace metal databases available.

The difficulty when trying to interpret measurements of dissolved trace metal concentrations, or other nutrients, in the deep sea is that one cannot easily distinguish between the amount that is present because it has been transported to the point of sampling from somewhere else and the amount that has been added or removed due to local, internal processes. Yet, one must be able to isolate that later component to quantify and interpret the influence of subsurface biogeochemical processes on trace metal cycles. Without this ability, one's interpretation of the measured concentration field could be wrong, mistaking transport phenomena for internal cycling mechanisms. This work will directly address this issue by applying statistical deconvolution techniques to explicitly quantify the amount that is transported. By taking the difference between the measured concentrations and the calculated transported component, it is possible to quantify the fraction that is due to biogeochemical processes and map these residual quantities.

One of the most important processes influencing the distribution of trace metals in the sea is "scavenging"; that is the propensity for dissolved metals to stick to particles and sink along with them. Scavenging affects metals more than other nutrients. It is an important process because it is omnipresent (particles are everywhere) and can redistribute the metals within the ocean interior. It is hypothesized that if scavenging is strong, or operating for a long time, the scavenging process can fractionate metals relative to the other nutrients. When layers that are affected strongly by this process are transported back to the surface, they will bring with them waters that are depleted in the metal relative to the other nutrients. If the metal abundance is too low, this will limit surface productivity. Preliminary modeling experiments support the view that scavenging exerts a first order control on the distribution of some metals, such as thorium, beryllium, the rare earth elements and aluminium. It is, however, not clear how much micronutrient metals scavenge and if this effect is able to explain the distribution and characteristics of micronutrient-limited regions. This project will test this hypothesis. First, the statistical deconvolution results from the data will inform on the degree of fractionation imposed by scavenging on each metal. Secondly, models will be used to simulate scavenging and the fractionation process and quantify the influence on surface ecosystems.

Planned Impact

The benefits of this work will extend beyond advances in academic research. The following areas will be particularly concerned.

i. Environment and climate change: problems and remediation strategies
a. Iron fertilization: Iron addition was proposed as a geo-engineering solution to pump carbon out of the atmosphere into the ocean. It is not clear how to quantify the benefits of such schemes and how to weight the negative aspects, such as the possible development of anoxic conditions and their influence on sea life. This project will provide a better understanding of iron remineralization on large scales, on interior iron transport and on the relationships between iron and other metals.

b. Acidification: Changing seawater pH affects metal speciation and bioavailability. pH and redox conditions also control sedimentary metal cycling and the dissolution of carbonates. Acidification changes the lysocline depth and can influence sediment-water column metal exchange. This project will provide a baseline assessment of current relationships between pH-gradients in the sea and ocean interior metal cycling.

c. Ecosystems: Micronutrients such as Fe, Zn, Cd, Mn and Ni are important to maintain phytoplankton growth and thus to support the marine ecosystem. By analysing the large-scale subsurface signature of these metals, the project will provide a new understanding of the supply of micronutrients to the surface ocean. A better understanding of ecosystems will help better manage fisheries and international marine resources.

ii. Deep-sea resource exploitation and management
a. Deep-sea mining: It has been known for decades that marine deposits are rich in valuable metals. About 30 years ago, deep-sea mining was deemed not profitable; it was cheaper to exploit land-based resources. Today, our economies rely on access to critical metals. With prices going up and the risk that some might use metal supply as geopolitical leverage in international negotiations, countries and corporations are looking again in the potential of deep-sea mining. The results from this project will provide a large-scale picture of the processes controlling the deep-sea distribution of metals, information that will help identify, evaluate and, in time, mitigate the influence of deep-sea mining on ecosystems and on the metal budget of the ocean.

iii. Earth system modeling and forecasting
a. Carbon export: The flux of particulate carbon is a critical quantity to assess the strength of the biological pump and its role in the global carbon cycle. It is, however, a difficult quantity to observe and model. No model currently simulates the dynamics of marine particles with any confidence. Since some metals scavenge on particles, tracing the interior distribution of metals helps constrain particles dynamics, the particle flux and its spatial pattern, provided the role of transport on concentrations can be quantified. This work will explicitly quantify the role of advection. By focusing on modeling the distribution of metals better, one will achieve a better understanding and representation of carbon export and ultimately of the fate of atmospheric CO2 and of the functioning of ecosystems. This will be pursued through Oxford's relationship with the Met-Office.

b. Ocean interactions with its boundaries: Our understanding of the interactions between submerged landmasses (continental shelves, mid-ocean ridges, seamounts, bottom boundary layer) and the ocean is generally poor. Our ability to model these interactions is commensurate with our understanding of these processes. This work will estimate of the fraction of trace elements that cannot be explained by advection. It will then be possible to interpret this "residual" fraction using a combination of trace metals and ancillary isotopic data. By investigating the spatial gradient of these residuals, the project will contribute a much greater understanding of these land-ocean interactions.

Related Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Award Value
NE/M017826/1 31/05/2015 29/06/2018 £501,472
NE/M017826/2 Transfer NE/M017826/1 30/06/2018 31/12/2020 £196,895
 
Title Contra, It's Freezing in LA art exhibition by Vinita Khanna, London 
Description Participated in panel discussion at the art opening of Vinita Khanna in London, on topic of pollution. 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2020 
Impact Over 100 people attended, from general public, mostly from arts background. Good event for science outreach. 
URL https://www.vinitakhanna.com/#!
 
Description - One can create maps of benthic neodymium isotope distribution and use these maps to drive biogeochemical model of Neodymium cycling in the ocean.
- One can separate the amount of Pb present in the ocean from natural causes from the total measured Pb (natural+anthropogenic) using a regression model using dissolved silicate as the independent variable. There are lots of silicate data, so this is a quick way to estimate (by difference) the distribution of anthropogenic Pb in the ocean. The accuracy of this aproach is limited, but it does provide a good first-hypothesis to inform targeted Pb isotopic analyses.
- The global marine arsenic cycle is measureably affected by anthropogenic activities. it will take 40000 years for the arsenic cycle to reach its new steady state. Reducing anthropogenic arsenic activities to pre-industrial would still impose a perturbation to the arsenic cycle that would last of order 20000 years.
- Processes governing of the dissolution of particulate copper reaching the seafloor in the ocean play a major role in contolling the global distribution of coppper in the ocean
- REE concentrations in rivers are highly correlated with dissolved organic concentrations and pH worlwide. This can provide support to estimate the flux and seasonal variability of REE to the ocean.
- pore waters in sediments play a key role is modifying the REE coating in benthic foraminifera. This process modulates interpretation of sediments cores with regards to paleoclimate reconstructions.
- REE anomalies, such as the Dy/Er ratio, do provide new insight about marine biogeochemical process and ocean physics, shedding light on the formation of antarctic intermediate waters and the importance of sediment diagensis as a source of REE to the ocean in low-oxygen regions.
- A large fraction of the REE concentrations at depth are preformed concentrations, that is transported from the water mass formation regions downstream.
- New measurement from samples collected during expedition GoShip S04P in the Ross Sea show that Ross Sea Bottom Water has a statistically differnent neodymium signature than the other types of bottom waters around Antarctica.
- Nepheloid layers, layers of water containting a large amount of particles suspended in the water and typically found near the edes of continents, play a key role in determining the global distribution of radioactive thorium and protactinium in the ocean. Model results show that without these layers, it is not possible for the model to reproduce the observed distribution of these elements in the ocean.
- Natural pH gradients in the ocean are strong enough to alter the speciation of the REE and therefore to affect the fractionation patterns of the REE in the ocean.
Exploitation Route The databases assembled will become available publically and these will help inform future sampling programme and also will form the basis for model development and model-data comparison efforts.
One of the main outcome is also conceptual, in that this work is contributing others to realize the value of trace elements as new biogeochemical tracers and it also shines a light on the emerging metal-based pollution issues.
Results point to the fact that the biogeochemical cycle of many metals in the ocean is heavily perturbed by human activities, and this perturbation can be seen on large scale and globally.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Chemicals,Communities and Social Services/Policy,Education,Environment,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Security and Diplomacy,Transport,Other

URL http://www.imperial.ac.uk/people/y.plancherel
 
Description By studying the cycles of multiple elements simultaneously in the ocean, one can develop methods able to predict (within some accuracy limit) the extent of pollution of certain target elements. For example, we can now predict the evolution of Pb pollution in the global ocean using archieved Pb concentration data and silicate data, without systematically having to measure Pb isotopic concentrations, which are otherwise used to separate natural from anthropogneic Pb sources. These results show that human activities are having a fundamental effect on the biogeochemical cycles of many elements, beyond CO2. By gaining a better understanding of the role of scavenging in the ocean, one can better asses the residence time and threat posed by metal pollutants in the ocean, but with the caveat that data coverage for these metal pollutants is still very poor at the global scale. There is a global metal pollution problem in the ocean, but it is not easily measured owing to the low concentrations of metals in seawater and the very large volume of the ocean. Substantially more effort (and funding) should be dedicated to monitoring concentrations of chemical species in the ocean.
First Year Of Impact 2018
Sector Chemicals,Education,Environment
Impact Types Societal

 
Description Climate Recovery Zones
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
 
Description Bangagandhu Science and Technology Fellowship Trust
Amount £150,000 (GBP)
Organisation Government of Bangladesh 
Sector Public
Country Bangladesh
Start 02/2021 
End 02/2025
 
Description Developing Ocean Modelling Capability in the Maldives: Ocean Economics and Sea Level Rise Related Hazards
Amount £47,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EACPR G58147 
Organisation Imperial College London 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2019 
End 07/2019
 
Description Faculty Strategic Research Funding - SME Engagement Scheme: "Enhancing carbon capture in UK seagrass restoration projects"
Amount £20,000 (GBP)
Organisation Imperial College London 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2021 
End 05/2022
 
Description INEOS - "Super sink project"
Amount £20,000 (GBP)
Organisation Imperial College London 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2020 
End 06/2020
 
Description Marine and Coastal Environments Network
Amount £3,000 (GBP)
Organisation Imperial College London 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2019 
End 02/2019
 
Description SSCP DTP PhD studentship - Nicola Gambaro
Amount £82,381 (GBP)
Organisation Grantham Institute: Cimate Change and Environemnt 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2021 
End 02/2025
 
Description Strategic Priorities Fund 2020/2021 - Evidence Based Policy Making: Creation of an Island Health Index App
Amount £41,364 (GBP)
Organisation Imperial College London 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2020 
End 03/2021
 
Description StudentShapers 2021
Amount £6,350 (GBP)
Organisation Imperial College London 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2021 
End 09/2021
 
Title A global database of Pb and Pb isotopes 
Description Collection of Pb and Pb isotopes measurements made in the ocean. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Versions of this database were used to substantiate 2 (failed) bids for NERC funding (standard grant) and 2 master theses. Research is ongoing. 
 
Title A global database of eNd and REE in rivers 
Description Global database of Rare earth elements and neodymium isotopes in the world's rivers. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Database formed the basis for 1 master's thesis. Further resarch ongoing. 
 
Title A steady state model of metals in seawater by TMM 
Description This is a model written in Matlab that can be used to efficiently calculate the steady state distribution of metals in the global ocean. 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Year Produced 2015 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact So far, aside from me, this model has served as the basis for 2 undergraduate student project and it is now being used by other researchers in Imperial College, Lamont Doherty Earth Laboratory and ETH Zurich. 
 
Title Global 230Th and 232Th database 
Description Global collection of Th230, Th232 and Pa231 measurements in seawater. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2015 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact I am currently using the Th230 and Th232 data to constrain a model used to evaluate the value of the Th230-Th232 isotopic couple to reconstruct dust fluxes over the ocean. The Th230 data are also used by a colleague in Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory New York to test ideas about the value of the Pa231/Th230 method of estimating paleocirculation. Part of this database was presented in Goldschmidt 2015 (Henderson et al.) in a keynote address and will be presented in February 2016 in the Ocean Sciences Meeting in New Orelans (USA) and also in Goldschmidt Paris 2017 (Plancherel et al.) and AGU San Francisco 2016 (Plancherel et al.). 
 
Title Global distribution of rare earth elements in the ocean 
Description Global collection of all previously published REE measurements in seawater. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2015 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Multiple papeers were published in collaboration with colleagues in Kiel/GEOMAR, CEREGE (France) and Cambridge (UK). This database is now being used to constrain global biogeochemical models and was used to motivate new observational programmes (i.e. GOSHIP P18, S04P cruises). 
URL http://www.bodc.ac.uk/geotraces/data/historical/
 
Description Developing Ocean Modelling Capability in the Maldives: Ocean Economics and Sea Level Rise Related Hazards 
Organisation Imperial College London
Department Department of Earth Science & Engineering
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This is a capacity building project in the Maldives. The goal is to identify and deliver training relating to ocean sciences and particularly ocean modeling to a small developing nation, the Maldives. My contribution is to deliver training on large scale oceanography and biogeochemical dynamics to Maldivian students. As part of this work, we are also exploring various longer term collaboration options, the ultimate goal being to develop an ocean observatory in the Indian Ocean, similar to Bermuda in the Atlantic or Hawaii in the Pacific. A new pump-priming proposal was submited (Feb 2019) based on these new collaborations with the Maldives National University and the Maldivian Minstry of Fisheries (outcome pending).
Collaborator Contribution This is a collaborative project with faculty members in the department of Earth Sciences and Engineering at Imperial College and our colleagues in the Maldives National University. The Imperial College expertise is on high-resolution coastal oceanography. We provide technical capacity in the field of adaptive mesh and coastal modeling. We are now exploring longer term collaboration options to adapt this modeling technology for biogoechemical studies in the nearshore environment. Our MNU colleagues provide local logistical support and expertise in marine biology and fishery science.
Impact We completed one fact-finding mission in Feb 2019 in the Maldvies, where we engaged with the faculty of the Maldives National University, the meteorological office of the Maldvies and the Ministry of Fisheries. One small pump-priming proposal was since written to raise funding for active scientific collaboration between imperial college and the maldvies National University. We are now working with the alunni relations office of Imperial College and the British Honorary Consul to the Maldives to organize a fundraising and networking event in Male (expected in July 2019) and another one later in the year, to coincide with the opening of the new British embassy in the Maldives. A postdoctoral researcher is now paid by this grant to develop an ocean model specific to the Maldives.
Start Year 2019
 
Description ElementTracker: tracing elements and resources through the global economy 
Organisation Imperial College London
Department Faculty of Engineering
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Strategic steering of the project, contribution to overall progress, primary supervision of students invovled, organization of reasearch team. Leveraged funding for 2 PHD students, through Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet NERC DTP, and through an EPSRC scholarship.
Collaborator Contribution Topical expertise on various aspects of the project, co-supervision of students.
Impact One MSc student from the MSc in Applied Computional Science and Engineering graduated. Two summer UROP students got funding for a summer project on this. Recently, one we managed to get a new PHD scholarship associated with this project via Imperial college's Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet DTP, another got an EPSRC scholarship. One paper in review (accepted with revision). Another paper in preparation. Collaboration is multi-disciplinary, invovling fields of biogeochemistry, ecology, computer science, industrial ecology, material science, engineering, mathematics.
Start Year 2019
 
Description GOSHIP SO4P 
Organisation National Science Foundation (NSF)
Country United States 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution I participated in a 69 days research expedition in the Southern Ocean (SO4P) linking Tasmania with Punta Arenas, via the Ross Sea. As part of this expedition, I took >1200 samples to be measured for rare earth element concentration. This will be the first and only high-resolution section of REEs in the whole Southern Ocean. This section complements a previous sampling expedition (P18).
Collaborator Contribution The partner organized the whole expedition and provided the entire logistic and funding for the cruise (except shipping of my samples).
Impact Samples are now back in the UK. They will be analyzed as soon as I can find funding to pay for the analysis. Progress of analytical work significantly affected by COVID.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Global analysis of Nd and Nd isotopes 
Organisation European Centre for Research and Teaching of Environmental Geosciences (CEREGE)
Country France 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I provided statistical expertise and a data compilation of Rare Earth Elements dissolved in seawater. Led to co-authorship of multiple papers, including with Univ. of Leeds (PhD student S. Robinson + K. Tachikawa from CEREGE, France).
Collaborator Contribution My partner (K. Tachikawa from CEREGE) provided a global dataset of dissolved Neodymium (Nd) and Nd isotopes. Dr. Tachikawa also drafted a manuscript on this collaborative work which is currently under review. Developed into new partnership with Univ. of Leeds and others, co-authorship on S. Robinson's paper (published 2021).
Impact Two published papers (Tachikawa et al, Robinson et al). One more in preparation (Robinson et al. b)
Start Year 2016
 
Description Quantifying the role of seagrass as nature-based solution for carbon capture. 
Organisation Imperial College London
Department Department of Life Sciences
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution My role has been to 1) do a costing and valuation review of seagrass restoration projects so as to calculate a target price under which seagrass restoration becomes profitable, 2) provide general experties on coastal hydrodynamics and marine biogeochemistry. Project now has led to additional funding through internal scheme, including collaboration with Ocean Conservation Trust. Co-supervision of an MSc student with faculty of life science.
Collaborator Contribution Partners lead the project and lead the grant writing process. Each member of the project contributed to particular areas of expertise. Co-supervision of project.
Impact Results from first grant were used as motivation for second proposal. Both got funded. Funding of the first proposal paid small fraction of each PI time in the project and covered the partial salary of a postdoc. Second grant will start in a few month, but will cover the time for a reserach technician, consumable and analytical costs. Publication in preparation, close to submission. It is a multi-disciplinary project, involving biogeochemistry, ecology, engineering, mathematics and computer science. Development of new consulting project with Imperial Consultants. Presentation of related negative carbon emission technology and climate change ideas to group from House of Lord and selected MPs.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Rare Earth Element cycling in rivers and estuaries 
Organisation University of Cambridge
Department Department of Earth Sciences
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Intellectual contribution for defining the research question and logistical contribution by starting an observational time-series programme on the Severn River which the project partner now contributes to also. Co-supervision of student with G. Roberts from Imperial on heavy metal pollution in rivers.
Collaborator Contribution Partner provided samples from multiple locations, including Greenland and Myanmar. The partner now also performs major cations and anions analysis on the samples collected. Modelling expertise, co-supervision of student.
Impact Training of a Master's student in Oxford, triggered discussion with the Enviromental Agency targeted towards further collaborations. Projects under discussions. New funding was awarded to the project partner to go back to Greenland in Summer 2018 to continue the work there. PhD scholarship from SSCP DTP awared to a student in Imperial College (waiting for student to accept or reject PhD offer - would be co-supervision of PhD student).
Start Year 2017
 
Description Rare Earth Elements on GOSHIP cruise S04P 
Organisation Imperial College London
Department Department of Earth Science & Engineering
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I participated in cruise S04P (67 days, between Hobart Tasmania and Punta Arenas Chile) to take rare earth elements samples to be analyzed at a later date in the lab. I also contributed to the collection of other samples, including Helium and Noble Gases, a project lead by colleagues in Scripps Institution of Oceanography (Nicholas Beaird, Fiamma Straneo) and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (Kevin Cahill) and Neodymium Isotopes for Prof Tina van de Flierdt (Imperial College London). These rare earth elements samples will increase the data coverage in the Pacific sector of the Southern Ocean by 2 orders of magnitude, from a few tens of samples to over 1000. Now working with Chandranath Basak (Univ of Delaware, USA) to try to analyze samples.
Collaborator Contribution The GOSHIP organization provides berthing abord the ship (R/V Nathaniel B. Palmer), a US NSF vessel, the opportunity to take the samples and all the logistics from the cruise, all of it, free of charge to me. Co-supervision (unofficial) of PhD student in Univ. Delaware.
Impact The cruise departed from Hobart on March 9th and returned to Punta Arenas on May 19th 2018. Over 1000 new samples taken in Pacific Sector of Southern Ocean. COVID impairs analytical work.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Rare Earth Elements on GOSHIP cruise S04P 
Organisation University of California, San Diego (UCSD)
Department Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I participated in cruise S04P (67 days, between Hobart Tasmania and Punta Arenas Chile) to take rare earth elements samples to be analyzed at a later date in the lab. I also contributed to the collection of other samples, including Helium and Noble Gases, a project lead by colleagues in Scripps Institution of Oceanography (Nicholas Beaird, Fiamma Straneo) and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (Kevin Cahill) and Neodymium Isotopes for Prof Tina van de Flierdt (Imperial College London). These rare earth elements samples will increase the data coverage in the Pacific sector of the Southern Ocean by 2 orders of magnitude, from a few tens of samples to over 1000. Now working with Chandranath Basak (Univ of Delaware, USA) to try to analyze samples.
Collaborator Contribution The GOSHIP organization provides berthing abord the ship (R/V Nathaniel B. Palmer), a US NSF vessel, the opportunity to take the samples and all the logistics from the cruise, all of it, free of charge to me. Co-supervision (unofficial) of PhD student in Univ. Delaware.
Impact The cruise departed from Hobart on March 9th and returned to Punta Arenas on May 19th 2018. Over 1000 new samples taken in Pacific Sector of Southern Ocean. COVID impairs analytical work.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Using Rare Earth Elements to trace upwelled deep waters in the Southern Ocean 
Organisation Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Department Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I have contributed the intellectual premise, i.e. the rationale, for this study and initiated the collaboration. The hypothesis underlying this study builds on my efforts to build a global dataset of rare earth element measurements, on results from my global biogeochemical model used to simulate the distribution of rare earth elements in seawater, and from my expertise about the distribution and relevance of ocean water masses. Aside from the motivation for the study, I have also contributed funding to purchase sampling equipment, salary time to go to sea and perform the sampling and funds to cover the cost of my travel to and from the ship and to ship the samples. I have also developed the sampling plan and organized the collaboration between the different parties. Participating in the P18 cruise has now established a collaboration between me and the GO-SHIP programme which can be leveraged in the future to access samples and participate in future cruises. Led to participation in SO4P (US) cruise and AMT29 cruise (UK).
Collaborator Contribution GEOMAR will be providing laboratory supplies and will perform part of the analyses to measure rare earth element concentrations in seawater and possibly a Masters' student (pending sample availability). NOAA/PMEL ran/organized/paid for the research cruise (nearly 3 months at sea in total - Nov 2016 to Feb 2017) and provided personel and logistical support to take the samples during leg1 of the P18 cruise.
Impact Direct outcomes so far involve my visit to Kiel/GEOMAR between 12-14 November 2015. Plans have been made for my Kiel/GEOMAR colleagues to come visit Oxford and help us setup the SeaFAST method for measuring rare earth elements locally in summer 2017. Nearly 1200 samples (60 ml) have been collected as part of the P18 repeath hydrography GO-SHIP (www.go-ship.org) cruise. About 500 samples have been shipped to Kiel and 700 samples are now in Oxford waiting to be analyzed. A Master student managed to analyze subset of sample to generate pilot data. Pilot data were used to substantiate NSF-NERC joint funding bid (unsucessful), with U of Delaware and U of Montana. Using the NERC grant, it was possible to guarantee participation in the expedition and as such seek and secure additional funding. The additional funding came in the form of the Oxford University John Fell Fund award and amounts to 7500 pounds. This additional grant will largely cover the cost of the analyses and provided additional resources to pay for sample shipping.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Using Rare Earth Elements to trace upwelled deep waters in the Southern Ocean 
Organisation National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration
Country United States 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution I have contributed the intellectual premise, i.e. the rationale, for this study and initiated the collaboration. The hypothesis underlying this study builds on my efforts to build a global dataset of rare earth element measurements, on results from my global biogeochemical model used to simulate the distribution of rare earth elements in seawater, and from my expertise about the distribution and relevance of ocean water masses. Aside from the motivation for the study, I have also contributed funding to purchase sampling equipment, salary time to go to sea and perform the sampling and funds to cover the cost of my travel to and from the ship and to ship the samples. I have also developed the sampling plan and organized the collaboration between the different parties. Participating in the P18 cruise has now established a collaboration between me and the GO-SHIP programme which can be leveraged in the future to access samples and participate in future cruises. Led to participation in SO4P (US) cruise and AMT29 cruise (UK).
Collaborator Contribution GEOMAR will be providing laboratory supplies and will perform part of the analyses to measure rare earth element concentrations in seawater and possibly a Masters' student (pending sample availability). NOAA/PMEL ran/organized/paid for the research cruise (nearly 3 months at sea in total - Nov 2016 to Feb 2017) and provided personel and logistical support to take the samples during leg1 of the P18 cruise.
Impact Direct outcomes so far involve my visit to Kiel/GEOMAR between 12-14 November 2015. Plans have been made for my Kiel/GEOMAR colleagues to come visit Oxford and help us setup the SeaFAST method for measuring rare earth elements locally in summer 2017. Nearly 1200 samples (60 ml) have been collected as part of the P18 repeath hydrography GO-SHIP (www.go-ship.org) cruise. About 500 samples have been shipped to Kiel and 700 samples are now in Oxford waiting to be analyzed. A Master student managed to analyze subset of sample to generate pilot data. Pilot data were used to substantiate NSF-NERC joint funding bid (unsucessful), with U of Delaware and U of Montana. Using the NERC grant, it was possible to guarantee participation in the expedition and as such seek and secure additional funding. The additional funding came in the form of the Oxford University John Fell Fund award and amounts to 7500 pounds. This additional grant will largely cover the cost of the analyses and provided additional resources to pay for sample shipping.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Art and the environment 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Public dialogue between me and artist Vinita Khanna (https://www.vinitakhanna.com) on the similarities, differences between art and sciences and particulary on the challenges of climate change and sustainability, climate and coflict. This event was part of the opening of the art exhibit "We will be forgotten" by Ms Vinita Khanna at Unit 4, Delta Wharf, Tunnel Avenue, SE10 0QE London. The event was co-sponsored and co-organized by the magazines "Contra" (http://contrajournal.com) and "It's freezing in LA" (https://www.itsfreezinginla.co.uk).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Commonwealth Blue Charter 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Invited participant at the networking event organized by the High Commissioner of New Zealand highlighting the Commonwealth Blule Charter for the Pacifc Region. Represented Imperial College and the Grantham institute.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Delivering the government's Maritime 20150 Strategy: the vision for science and innovation 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Was one of 100 invited guests of The Foundation for Science and Technology to participate in a debate about the draft UK Maritime Strategy. Represented the Grantham Institute and Imperial College.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Dynamics of Planet Earth - Climate, undergraduate class 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Gave 10 hours of lectures in the 1st year undergraduate course "dynamics of planet Earth" on the topic of climate change (principle of climate dynamics, climate change through time, anthropogenic climate change). After these hours, about 10 students approached me to start an undergraduate initative to tacke the net-zero challenge within imperial college. Plans are now being drawned with the Grantham Institute to try to draw undergraduates in COP26.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Interview - The National, UAE 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Provided interview, focusing on interpretation and context, for news article "Arabian Gulf in hot water as sea temperatures are rising faster than expected" by Daniel Bardsley, January 12, 2019.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.thenational.ae/uae/environment/arabian-gulf-in-hot-water-as-sea-temperatures-are-rising-...
 
Description Invited lecture Imperial College Business School, MBA programme 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Gave a lecture on how to counter "climate skeptics" arguments to about 30 MBA students of the Business School at Imperial College
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Portugal Biogeochemistry Summer School 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact This course provided students (Ms and PhD) and young Researchers, with an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the marine biogeochemical cycles and large-scale distribution of biological utilized elements and/ or tracers of oceanographic processes. In light of society's pressing needs to prepare for the future consequences of global warming, it is of major importance for the next generation of young marine researchers to grasp the basic biogeochemical concepts and gain the capacity to use the acquired knowledge in their future work. Invited professors were researchers working in the field of Biogeochemistry. The assembled group of experts, joined for the first time, allowed for a unique training opportunity that is not available in any other institution. The course covered: (1) the modern ocean distributions and biogeochemical cycles of the elements that regulate marine ecosystem dynamics; (2) the distribution of elements, which can be important tracers for oceanographic processes both via conceptual and numerical modeling; and (3) the use of such elements and their isotopes as proxies for reconstruction of past conditions. Also included were free form / brainstorming evening discussions covering communicating science, proposal and paper writing and presentations by the students. The course takes place in June in Faro - Algarve, a touristic region of Portugal, served by an international airport with cheap flight options.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018,2020
URL https://www.ccmar.ualg.pt/activity/att-marine-biogeochemistry-training-school-biogeochemical-and-eco...
 
Description Portugal-Imperial relations and AIR Center 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited participant in the networking event at the Portuguese embassy of London linking industry-science-government towards delivering the Atlantic International Research Center (AIR Center). Represented Imperial College and thte Grantham Institute.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.aircentre.org
 
Description Round Table Discussion on Challenges to Implementation of Climate Change Policies Organised By MUSLIM Institute 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact MUSLIM Institute UK Chapter organised a Round Table Discussion "Challenges to Implementation of Climate Change Policies" on Thursday Jan 23, 2020; at the Record Hall London. Dr. Yves Plancherel Lecturer Grantham, Institute- Climate Change & the Environment and Dr. Iqbal Hussain President MUSLIM Institute UK Chapter shared their views on the occasion. Mr. Rao Ali Khan, Research Associate MUSLIM Institute gave the opening remarks. Mr. Ali Iftikhar Programme Manager, The MUSLIM Debate, moderated the proceedings of the discussion. A summary report of the event was the published on the newletter of the muslim institute and posted on their website (www.muslim-institute.org).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL http://www.muslim-institute.org
 
Description Twig education - design new course for 11-13 year old US student on marine resources 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Twig Education specializes in creating innovative content for school children. I provide expertise and review on the material they design. This project is to design a series of lecture material on the topic if marine resources to be taught in US schools, for year 11-13 students.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020,2021
URL https://twigeducation.com
 
Description VALE MINE2.0 Programme 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Mining Innovation for a New Environment (MINE) programme was a training programme led by Mining company VALE, targeting postgraduate students from Brazil. Aims to teach select group of student about environmental issues associated with mining and develop research projects embedded withing VALE, with co-supervision from academics from Senai Cematec, MIT and Imperial College.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL http://www.vale.com/brasil/EN/sustainability/innovation/Pages/programa-mine.aspx