Nutrient Factories under the Ice (NuttI): Quantifying the subglacial biogeochemical reactor and its response to climate change

Climate change is amplified in polar regions. As a result, ice sheets are currently experiencing record melting. While the physical consequences of this alarming retreat have been intensively studied, its biogeochemical dimension remains poorly understood.
Once thought to be devoid of life, recent research indicates that subglacial environments are incredibly active biogeochemical reactors that export globally significant fluxes of bio-essential nutrients to key ocean regions. Yet, the controls on the nature, magnitude and timing of these export fluxes are poorly understood. As a result, the full impact of ice sheet retreat on global biogeochemical cycles and climate remains unconstrained.
The overarching objective of the proposed project is to close this critical knowledge gap by developing the very first, mechanistic, hydrological-biogeochemical model for subglacial environments. It will be applied to identify the main controls on glacial nutrient export and predict export fluxes, as well as their response to climate change.


Sandra ARNDT
Biogeochemistry and Modelling of the Earth System (BGeOsys)
Faculty of Sciences

Created on September 13, 2018