Exploring marine biogeochemical cycles: organic matter and pollutants
Convener: Emanuele Organelli | Co-conveners: Donata Melaku Canu, Camille Richon, Chiara Santinelli, Lars-Eric Heimburger, Paolo Lazzari
| Attendance Wed, 06 May, 08:30–10:15 (CEST)

Marine biogeochemical cycles regulate air-sea CO2 exchanges and oceanic carbon sequestration that, ultimately, controls the Earth’s climate. Key actors of these cycles are marine particulate and dissolved organic matter (OM) whose comprehension of the dynamics is one of the most pressing issue in marine science. However, marine biogeochemical cycles are impacted by anthropogenic pollution and there is an urgent need of quantifying sources and fluxes of the contaminants to the marine environment as well as to analyse and understand their possible effects on marine ecosystems and human health.
This session opens to in-field, laboratory and biogeochemical modelling studies that can help to understand where we are and what future directions must be taken to get insights into organic matter and pollutants cycle. The mechanisms of OM production, removal and accumulation, and correlation with optical properties are far from being unravelled. Limited knowledge exists on the impact of phytoplankton metabolism and environmental conditions on OM production as well as on the mechanisms determining its biological lability.
We would like to share the current research on how the multiple sources of anthropogenic pollution impact marine biogeochemical cycles, such as pollutant leaching from plastics and direct contamination of the water by contaminated rivers, aerosols, or submarine groundwater. In this session we aim at discussing mechanisms driving OM dynamics, transfer of pollutants through the marine trophic web, the effects of climate change on OM and pollutants cycle as well as scenarios of mitigation and adaptation to mercury and POP’s pollution.
We encourage submissions dealing with in-situ and space-based observational studies about OM dynamics, at the global as well as at the regional scale Inter-disciplinary studies are strongly encouraged. The session welcomes direct measurements of contaminant fluxes, isotopic or other approaches to tracing contamination, modelling, experimental incubations with contaminants, mesocosm studies and toxicity assessments, with particular attention to Hg and POP (persistent organic pollutants) cycles in the estuarine, coastal and ocean environments.
Thanks to this session we aim to gather together experts in physical, biogeochemical, optical and satellite oceanography. Other compartments of the earth system, and related societal, ecosystem and human health impact studies are welcome as well.