*E-PSCI 286. Biogeochemistry of Cryptic Cycles


  • Professor: David T. Johnston, Ann Pearson
  • Term: Fall
  • Days: Th
  • Time: 9:00-11:45
  • School: Faculty of Arts and Sciences
  • Course ID: 126176
  • Subject Area: Earth and Planetary Sciences

We will explore the geochemical importance of cryptic, or "net-zero", cycles in Earth surface process. A classic example is the deep sedimentary methane cycle, in which the net energy source is organic matter and the net sink is sulfate. Despite being nearly zero-sum, the existence of this cycle impacts the geochemical rates and signatures of other sedimentary processes. We will explore this, and other, topics from the perspective of questions such as how would the ocean-atmosphere system be different if this set of coupled reactions had not evolved? What other hidden reactions could be similarly important? We will draw from literature mainly on light stable- and radio-isotopic approaches to investigating these processes.

Notes: Given in alternate years.

Recommended Prep: EPS 186 and 187 or equivalent; or permission of instructor.