Phone: 0734-35 90 10 or 0735-70 65 60
See the Staff and Contact page
Research in isotope geochemistry
The long lived radioactive decay systems have a considerable importance in understanding the evolution of Earth on a geological timescale. I’m interested in the isotope systematics of thorium (Th) and protactinium (Pa) to understand the role of marine particles in ocean biogeochemical cycling.
In seawater, 231Pa and 230Th are produced by the radioactive decay of their uniformly distributed uranium parents (235U and 234U, respectively). The use of these isotopes as marine tracers involves comparing their seawater activities (231Pa and 230Th) to the seawater activities of their parents. Unlike U, Pa and Th are particle reactive elements which make the production, transport and cycling of Pa and Th a key factor for understanding the abundance and dispersion of particle reactive elements in the ocean.
Studying the distribution of 231Pa and 230Th in the water column we will improve our understanding of the controls on the distribution and fractionation of 231Pa and 230Th in the ocean. Particularly, the relative influence of deep water circulation and suspended particulate matter on the distribution of 231Pa and 230Th is investigated.