The Leibniz Institute of Marine science is a research institute in Kiel, Germany. It was formed in 2004 by merging the Institute for Marine Science with the Research Center for Marine Geoscience and is co-funded by both federal and provincial governments. It is a member of the Leibniz Association and coordinator of the FishBase Consortium. The institute operates world-wide in all ocean basins, specialising in climate dynamics, marine ecology and biogeochemistry, and ocean floor dynamics and circulation. IFM-GEOMAR offers degree courses in affiliation with the University of Kiel, and operates the Kiel Aquarium and the Lithothek, a repository for split sediment core samples. Wikipedia.
Agency: GTR | Branch: NERC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 184.62K | Year: 2015
The crust that underlies the worlds oceans forms as a result of seafloor spreading - a process that sees the rigid oceanic plates pulled apart at fast (>100 mm/yr), intermediate (100-55 mm/yr) or slow (55-20 mm/yr) rates. As plates separate the mantle beneath rises to fill the gap and as it does so it melts due to the lower pressure. This molten rock, or magma, solidifies to form the ~6-8 km thick oceanic crust, comprising a layer of erupted and rapidly cooled magma (basalt) at the top and a layer of slowly cooled magma (gabbro) beneath. Over the last decade, observations have shown that the crust created where oceanic plates are pulled apart at slower rates, does not form by such a simple process of symmetrical, magmatic construction as our current models predict, but instead the magmatic construction is interspersed with periods of apparent magma-starvation. During these amagmatic phases plate separation is accommodated by large-offset faults along which rocks from the lower crust and the upper mantle beneath are brought to the surface. These regions of exhumed lower crust and upper mantle rocks are called oceanic core complexes (OCCs). About 25% of the Earths mid-ocean ridges spread at very slow rates of less than 20 mm/yr. However, most of these ultraslow ridges are located in remote areas that have poor weather or ice cover that impedes their investigation. Consequently, how the crust forms and ages at these slowest spreading centres, which current models predict should be predominantly magma-starved and cold, remains poorly understood. Recent seabed imaging and sampling studies of the ultraslow Mid-Cayman Spreading Centre (MCSC) in the Caribbean, have observed the deepest and hottest black smoker hydrothermal vents on Earth, and regions of exhumed lower crust and upper mantle juxtaposed against volcanically erupted rocks of the normal upper oceanic crust. Here we will establish the crustal context of these contrasting observations that challenge the predictions of traditional models, and we will determine the time and space interplay between magmatic construction and amagmatic extension and the controls on, and relationship between, faulting and hydrothermal activity. As part of a British, German and American partnership, we will use sub-seabed seismic imaging to study the structure and lithology of the crust at the Mt Dent OCC on the MCSC and determine the relationship between this and the adjacent volcanic domain that also hosts hydrothermal vents. We will also investigate how the crust changes as it cools and ages as it spreads away from the ridge axis. Using the pattern of local earthquakes we will map sub-seabed fault geometries and whether or not these faults are connected at depth. As the southern tip of the MCSC also abuts against the continental crust of the Caribbean plate across the Swan Island Transform Zone, this also provides a unique opportunity to determine not only how the mantle rises up and melts beneath the ridge and how this melt is distributed along-ridge, but also if this process is impeded by the cooling affect of adjacent thick, cold continental lithosphere. To achieve our goals we will deploy ocean-bottom seismographs (OBSs) onto the seabed to determine the variation in velocity associated with, and the interfaces between the different rock types deep into the crust and upper mantle using man-made seismic signals. We will also use the OBSs to record the signals that occur naturally when faults move. We will measure the gravity field to determine crustal density as a test of our seismic models, and to image deeper into the mantle to depths beyond which our seismic signals will penetrate. Finally, we will measure reversals in the magnetic field to reveal seafloor spreading rate and crustal age and, jointly with the seismic data, determine how frequently phases of amagmatic extension have occurred from the current time to at least 20 million years ago.
Sabine C.L.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration |
Tanhua T.,Leibniz Institute of Marine Science
Annual Review of Marine Science | Year: 2010
A significant impetus for recent ocean biogeochemical research has been to better understand the ocean's role as a sink for anthropogenic CO 2. In the 1990s the global carbon survey of the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE) and the Joint Global Ocean Flux Study (JGOFS) inspired the development of several approaches for estimating anthropogenic carbon inventories in the ocean interior. Most approaches agree that the total global ocean inventory of C ant was around 120 Pg C in the mid-1990s. Today, the ocean carbon uptake rate estimates suggest that the ocean is not keeping pace with the CO 2 emissions growth rate. Repeat occupations of the WOCE/JGOFS survey lines consistently show increases in carbon inventories over the last decade, but have not yet been synthesized enough to verify a slowdown in the carbon storage rate. There are many uncertainties in the future ocean carbon storage. Continued observations are necessary to monitor changes and understand mechanisms controlling ocean carbon uptake and storage in the future. © 2010 by Annual Reviews.
Wallmann K.,Leibniz Institute of Marine Science
Global Biogeochemical Cycles | Year: 2010
The phosphorus budget of the prehuman modern ocean is constrained applying the most recent estimates of the natural riverine, eolian, and ice-rafted input fluxes; the phosphorus burial in marine sediments; and the hydrothermal removal of dissolved phosphate from the deep ocean. This review of current flux estimates indicates that the phosphorus budget of the ocean is unbalanced since the accumulation of phosphorus in marine sediments and altered oceanic crust exceeds the continental input of particulate and dissolved phosphorus. The phosphorus mass balance is further tested considering the dissolved phosphate distribution in the deep water column, the marine export production of particulate organic matter, rain rates of phosphorus to the seafloor, benthic dissolved phosphate fluxes, and the organic carbon to phosphorus ratios in marine particles. These independent data confirm that the phosphate and phosphorus budgets were not at steady state in the prehuman global ocean. The ocean is losing dissolved phosphate at a rate of 11.6 × 1010 mol yr-1 corresponding to a decline in the phosphate inventory of 4.5% kyr-1. Benthic data show that phosphate is preferentially retained in pelagic deep-sea sediments where extended oxygen exposure times favor the degradation of particulate organic matter and the uptake of phosphate in manganese and iron oxides and hydroxides. Enhanced C: P regeneration ratios observed in the deep water column (>400 m water depth) probably reflect the preferential burial of phosphorus in pelagic sediments. Excess phosphate is released from continental margin sediments deposited in low-oxygen environments. The dissolved oxygen threshold value for the enhanced release of dissolved phosphate is ∼20 M. Benthic phosphate fluxes increase drastically when oxygen concentrations fall below this value. © 2010 by the American Geophysical Union.
Bauch H.A.,Leibniz Institute of Marine Science
Quaternary Science Reviews | Year: 2013
Arctic palaeorecords are important to understand the "natural range" of forcing and feedback mechanisms within the context of past and present climate change in this temperature-sensitive region. A wide array of methods and archives now provide a robust understanding of the Holocene climate evolution. By comparison rather little is still known about older interglacials, and in particular, on the effects of the northward propagation of heat transfer via the Atlantic meridional ocean circulation (AMOC) into the Arctic. Terrestrial records from this area often indicate a warmer and moister climate during past interglacials than in the Holocene implying a more vigorous AMOC activity. This is in conflict with marine data. Although recognized as very prominent interglacials in Antarctic ice cores, cross-latitudinal surface ocean temperature reconstructions show that little of the surface ocean warmth still identified in the Northeast Atlantic during older interglacial peaks (e.g., MIS5e, 9, 11) was further conveyed into the polar latitudes, and that each interglacial developed its own specific palaeoclimate features. Interactive processes between water mass overturning and the hydrological system of the Arctic, and how both developed together out of a glacial period with its particular ice sheet configuration and relative sea-level history, determined the efficiency of an evolving interglacial AMOC. Because of that glacial terminations developed some very specific water mass characteristics, which also affected the climate evolution of the ensuing interglacial periods. Moreover, the observed contrasts in the Arctic-directed meridional ocean heat flux between past interglacials have implications for the palaeoclimatic evaluation of this polar region. Crucial environmental factors of the Arctic climate system, such as the highly dynamical interactions between deep water mass flow, surface ocean temperature/salinity, sea ice, and atmosphere, exert strong feedbacks on interglacial climate regionality that goes well beyond the Arctic. A sound interpretation of such processes from palaeoarchives requires a good understanding of the applied proxies. Fossils, in particular, are often key to the reconstruction of past conditions. But the tremendously flexible adaptation strategies of biota sometimes hampers further in-depth interpretations, especially when considering their palaeoenvironmental meaning in the context of rapid palaeoclimatic changes and long-term Pleistocene evolution. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
Maraun D.,Leibniz Institute of Marine Science
Environmental Research Letters | Year: 2013
A multi-model ensemble of regional climate projections for Europe is employed to investigate how the time of emergence (TOE) for seasonal sums and maxima of daily precipitation depends on spatial scale. The TOE is redefined for emergence from internal variability only; the spread of the TOE due to imperfect climate model formulation is used as a measure of uncertainty in the TOE itself. Thereby, the TOE becomes a fundamentally limiting timescale and translates into a minimum spatial scale on which robust conclusions can be drawn about precipitation trends. Thus, minimum temporal and spatial scales for adaptation planning are also given. In northern Europe, positive winter trends in mean and heavy precipitation, and in southwestern and southeastern Europe, summer trends in mean precipitation already emerge within the next few decades. However, across wide areas, especially for heavy summer precipitation, the local trend emerges only late in the 21st century or later. For precipitation averaged to larger scales, the trend, in general, emerges earlier. © 2013 IOP Publishing Ltd.
Form A.U.,Leibniz Institute of Marine Science |
Riebesell U.,Leibniz Institute of Marine Science
Global Change Biology | Year: 2012
Ocean acidity has increased by 30% since preindustrial times due to the uptake of anthropogenic CO 2 and is projected to rise by another 120% before 2100 if CO 2 emissions continue at current rates. Ocean acidification is expected to have wide-ranging impacts on marine life, including reduced growth and net erosion of coral reefs. Our present understanding of the impacts of ocean acidification on marine life, however, relies heavily on results from short-term CO 2 perturbation studies. Here, we present results from the first long-term CO 2 perturbation study on the dominant reef-building cold-water coral Lophelia pertusa and relate them to results from a short-term study to compare the effect of exposure time on the coral's responses. Short-term (1 week) high CO 2 exposure resulted in a decline of calcification by 26-29% for a pH decrease of 0.1 units and net dissolution of calcium carbonate. In contrast, L. pertusa was capable to acclimate to acidified conditions in long-term (6 months) incubations, leading to even slightly enhanced rates of calcification. Net growth is sustained even in waters sub-saturated with respect to aragonite. Acclimation to seawater acidification did not cause a measurable increase in metabolic rates. This is the first evidence of successful acclimation in a coral species to ocean acidification, emphasizing the general need for long-term incubations in ocean acidification research. To conclude on the sensitivity of cold-water coral reefs to future ocean acidification further ecophysiological studies are necessary which should also encompass the role of food availability and rising temperatures. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Reusch T.B.H.,Leibniz Institute of Marine Science
Evolutionary Applications | Year: 2014
I summarize marine studies on plastic versus adaptive responses to global change. Due to the lack of time series, this review focuses largely on the potential for adaptive evolution in marine animals and plants. The approaches were mainly synchronic comparisons of phenotypically divergent populations, substituting spatial contrasts in temperature or CO2 environments for temporal changes, or in assessments of adaptive genetic diversity within populations for traits important under global change. The available literature is biased towards gastropods, crustaceans, cnidarians and macroalgae. Focal traits were mostly environmental tolerances, which correspond to phenotypic buffering, a plasticity type that maintains a functional phenotype despite external disturbance. Almost all studies address coastal species that are already today exposed to fluctuations in temperature, pH and oxygen levels. Recommendations for future research include (i) initiation and analyses of observational and experimental temporal studies encompassing diverse phenotypic traits (including diapausing cues, dispersal traits, reproductive timing, morphology) (ii) quantification of nongenetic trans-generational effects along with components of additive genetic variance (iii) adaptive changes in microbe-host associations under the holobiont model in response to global change (iv) evolution of plasticity patterns under increasingly fluctuating environments and extreme conditions and (v) joint consideration of demography and evolutionary adaptation in evolutionary rescue approaches. © 2013 The Authors. Evolutionary Applications published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Kopp H.,Leibniz Institute of Marine Science
Tectonophysics | Year: 2013
Convergent plate boundaries around the globe show a high degree of structural complexity and variability in site-specific geometry and mass flux. The heterogeneity in the structural evolution, the interior regime as well as external architecture of individual margins is reflected in their seismic character, resulting in a segmentation along-strike as well as along-dip. Subduction zones generate more than 80% of global earthquakes above magnitude 8.0, but rupture characteristics are highly individual and linked to margin specific geometrical conditions. Major segments of subduction zones are commonly submerged in deep water and difficult to access at the majority of margins. Marine geophysical techniques, which are able to image the complex structures in these settings with sufficient coherency and depth penetration, have proven crucial to improve our knowledge on the geological framework of the different types of subduction zones. The aim of this review paper is to unravel the structural diversity of convergent margins and between individual subduction zone segments. Field data from different margins around the globe deliver images of the seafloor and subsurface in unprecedented resolution, which show segmentation to be far more complex than previously inferred. Along-strike segmentation results in accretionary segments contiguous to erosive segments along a single margin. Modes of mass transfer must hence be viewed as transient processes dependent on sediment supply and lower plate structure. Along-strike segment boundaries commonly correlate with underthrusting lower plate relief that controls the deep deformation of a subduction zone and the spatial and temporal variations in slip behavior. Examples of underthrusting oceanic basement relief at different stages of subduction elucidate their impact on the inner geometry of the margin. Lower plate heterogeneities occur at subduction zones worldwide and thus pose a common phenomenon, whose role as barriers to seismic rupture constitute a central control on subduction zone seismicity and segmentation. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.
Maraun D.,Leibniz Institute of Marine Science
Journal of Climate | Year: 2013
Quantile mapping is routinely applied to correct biases of regional climate model simulations compared to observational data. If the observations are of similar resolution as the regional climate model, quantile mapping is a feasible approach. However, if the observations are of much higher resolution, quantile mapping also attempts to bridge this scale mismatch. Here, it is shown for daily precipitation that such quantile mapping-based downscaling is not feasible but introduces similar problems as inflation of perfect prognosis ("prog") downscaling: the spatial and temporal structure of the corrected time series is misrepresented, the drizzle effect for area means is overcorrected, area-mean extremes are overestimated, and trends are affected. To overcome these problems, stochastic bias correction is required. © 2013 American Meteorological Society.
Maraun D.,Leibniz Institute of Marine Science
Geophysical Research Letters | Year: 2012
Bias correcting climate models implicitly assumes stationarity of the correction function. This assumption is assessed for regional climate models in a pseudo reality for seasonal mean temperature and precipitation sums. An ensemble of regional climate models for Europe is used, all driven with the same transient boundary conditions. Although this model-dependent approach does not assess all possible bias non-stationarities, conclusions can be drawn for the real world. Generally, biases are relatively stable, and bias correction on average improves climate scenarios. For winter temperature, bias changes occur in the Alps and ice covered oceans caused by a biased forcing sensitivity of surface albedo; for summer temperature, bias changes occur due to a biased sensitivity of cloud cover and soil moisture. Precipitation correction is generally successful, but affected by internal variability in arid climates. As model sensitivities vary considerably in some regions, multi model ensembles are needed even after bias correction. Copyright 2012 by the American Geophysical Union.