Research

Hot iron: Are submarine volcanoes important for Southern Ocean iron supply?

  • Research Theme
    Oceans & Cryosphere
  • Cross-disciplinary Theme(s)
    Climate Change; Ocean-Earth System; Ocean-Antarctic Governance
  • Funded By

    Australian Research Council - Discovery
    From 2015 to 2017

  • Principal Investigator
  • Contributor(s)

    Dr Zanna Chase; Professor Thomas Trull, Alessandro Tagliabue

  • Project Summary

    The scarcity of iron limits biological productivity and carbon uptake in the nutrient rich waters of the Southern Ocean. This project will explore for the first time the role of undersea "hot spot" volcanoes in supplying iron to surface waters, thus linking the solid earth and the biosphere. The team will measure iron abundance, reactivity, and nutritional value in buoyant plumes emanating from vents near Heard/McDonald Islands, Australia's only active volcanoes. The project will estimate the hydrothermal contribution to regional biological productivity and extrapolate to the whole Southern Ocean. This will benefit Australia by identifying iron sources that govern productivity and carbon uptake of an economically important ecosystem.

    Interested in this project?

Authorised by the Executive Director, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies
October 30, 2015