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European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2020 (EGU2020)
Dates: 3-8 May 2020
Location: Vienna, Austria

For further information:

GEOTRACES-related sessions:

*OS3.3 Mercury and persistent organic pollutants in the ocean
Donata Melaku Canu, Javier Castro Jimenez, Lars-Eric Heimbürger-Boavida, Mario Sprovieri

We welcome contributions focusing on observations, experiments, and modelling of the mercury (Hg) and POP (persistent organic pollutants) cycles in the estuarine, coastal and ocean environments. Other compartments of the earth system, and related societal, ecosystem and human health impact studies are welcome as well. Combined mercury and POPs as well as coupled observation and modelling approaches are especially welcome. The main objectives of this special session are to further the understanding of the sources and fluxes; the quantification and assessment of the processes; mechanisms driving transfer through the marine trophic web; biogeochemical modeling; effects of climate change and changed emissions scenarios; scenarios of mitigation and adaptation to mercury and POP’s pollution, and impacts on society, ecosystem and human health.


*OS3.6 Impacts of anthropogenic pollution on ocean biogeochemistry
Camille Richon, Lars-Eric Heimbürger-Boavida, Charlotte Laufkötter, Susan Little

Marine anthropogenic pollution is increasingly recognized as a serious issue of global concern with substantial risks for marine ecosystems, fisheries, and food supply to people. Plastic and chemical contaminants are spread on a planetary scale, and may have devastating impacts on marine ecosystems. Yet, they remain poorly studied and much is yet to learn about how plastic and chemical contamination impacts marine nutrient cycles and the lower food chain. In this session, we invite contributions from experimentalists and modellers trying to understand the impacts of plastics as well as chemical contaminants on the biogeochemistry of the oceans. The objective of this session is to share the current research on how the multiple sources of anthropogenic pollution impact marine biogeochemical cycles, such as pollutant leaching from plastics, plastic ingestion by marine animals, and direct contamination of the water by contaminated rivers, aerosols, or submarine groundwater. The session would welcome all techniques, including direct measurements of contaminant fluxes, isotopic or other approaches to tracing contamination, modelling, experimental incubations with contaminants, mesocosm studies and toxicity assessments. We particularly encourage contributions regarding the quantification of sources and fluxes of contaminants to the marine environment, and the effects of this contamination (toxicity from chemical contaminants such as heavy metals or PCBs, effects of plastic ingestion on zooplankton…).

*BG1.5 Mercury cycling in the environment – sources, processes, impacts, and archives from local to global scales
Jan G. Wiederhold, Sofi Jonsson, Martin Jiskra, Sophia Hansson

Mercury (Hg) is a toxic global pollutant of great environmental concern. The UNEP Minamata convention on mercury, a legally-binding international treaty aiming to reduce negative impacts of Hg on the environment, has entered into force in 2017. Anthropogenic activities have altered the global Hg cycle to a great extent and many ecosystems are threatened by exposure to elevated levels of Hg and its different species. For instance, neurotoxic and bioaccumulating methyl-Hg is formed under the influence of anaerobic microorganisms in a variety of natural systems but the controls on this key process are still far from being understood. Further active Hg research areas include exchange processes at the atmosphere-soil-plant interface and their importance for understanding atmospheric Hg deposition, the behavior and long-term fate of Hg at contaminated sites, as well as global cycling models assessing the evolution of historic Hg fluxes from different natural and anthropogenic sources. In the past few years, a number of novel research tools based on microbiological, spectroscopic, isotopic, and modelling techniques have been developed to improve our understanding of Hg cycling in the environment. This session presents new contributions on present-day Hg cycling in the environment using field-based, experimental, and/or modelling approaches on local to global scales, as well as contributions focusing on long- and short-term reconstruction of Hg as a pollutant over time using natural archives such as ice-cores, tree-rings, lake sediments and peat bogs. We particularly welcome research addressing the effects of the implementation of the Minamata convention on mercury levels in the environment and new approaches to assess its effectiveness.

*BG4.5 The impact of anthropogenic sediment reworking on the seafloor
Sebastiaan van de Velde, Pere Masqué and Sarah Paradis

The human imprint on the marine realm has rapidly increased during the last century, leaving no area unaffected by human activities. Bottom trawl fishing intensity has boomed since the 1950s, while at the same time dredging activities in coastal zones have intensified to maintain navigable waterways, reclaim land, construct wind farms or counteract coastal erosion. Off-shore drilling platforms have been constructed around the world, and more recently, deep-sea mining has become an attractive avenue for mineral extraction. All of these economic activities physically perturb the seabed, and are expected to have a strong effect on the natural biological, geochemical and physical dynamics of the ocean. However, very little is understood about the short-term and long-term impact of these anthropogenic physical disturbances.

This session aims to create a multidisciplinary discussion on the impact and potential remediation of diverse anthropogenic alterations on the seafloor, and invites contributions ranging from marine ecology over physical oceanography and biogeochemistry, be it observational, theoretical or experimental.

*CL5.4 Challenges and opportunities arising from palaeo-data compilations
Nikita Kaushal, Laia Comas-Bru, Franziska Lechleitner and Sophie Warken

The number of past climatic and/or ecological data generated from a range of distinct proxies and natural archives is continuously growing. Hence, significant advances in palaeoclimate research can now be made using large-scale compilations. Establishing such large-scale databases reveal supra-regional and global spatial and temporal patterns in palaeoclimate conditions that are not possible with single records. This session aims at presenting current advances in palaeoclimate and palaeoecology based on local- to global-scale syntheses. Bringing together palaeoclimate databases with observational and/or climate modelling outputs is crucial for improving our understanding of past climate conditions, to identify signal and noise components and their temporal dynamics, and to gain insight into the quality of data-model comparisons. We therefore aim at bridging the gap between data generation, earth system modeling and data assimilation studies. We encourage submissions on data compilations, cross-comparison and modelling studies utilizing data repositories and databases (e.g., NEOTOMA, SISAL, PAGES2k, ACER, EPD).



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 Data Assembly Centre (GDAC)


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