Friday, March 25, 2011

EUR-OCEANS Conference on Ocean deoxygenation

The EU initiative EUR-OCEANS invites contributions for a conference on Ocean deoxygenation and implications for marine biogeochemical cycles and ecosystems from 24.-26.10.2011 in Toulouse, France.
Abstracts submission is open until 30.4.2011.

A broad range of hypoxia related scientific themes will be covered with a strong focus being on Open Ocean deoxygenation and OMZs:
o Oxygen distribution and physical and biogeochemical controls
o Challenges of model parameterizations and predictions of O2 changes
o The past ocean: what can we learn from episodic widespread anoxia
xxthroughout the Earth’s history?
o The present ocean:
xx- Increase of coastal hypoxia
xx- Interplay between acidification and deoxygenation
xx- Implication on marine biogeochemical cycling
xxxof nutrients
o Oxygen Minimum Zones and greenhouse gases
o Change in ocean circulation and mixing and its impact
xxon oxygen distribution
o Getting into the realm of the microbial activity:
xxa functional genomic approach
o Towards new biogeochemical microsensors and networks
xxfor marine biogeochemical cycling (in situ and satellite
xxobservations; experimentations)

conference homepage
registration website
Conference Flyer
Conference Program

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

HYPOX second annual meeting in Switzerland (3.-7.5.2011)

Representatives of all 16 HYPOX partner institutions as well as of three of our recently associated partners (NIVA, Oslo, Norway; MfN, Berlin, Germany; and MARE-ULg, Liège, Belgium) join the second annual meeting in Switzerland. The meeting is hosted by our project partner Eawag (Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology). Carsten Schubert and Patricia Achleitner at the Eawag branch in Kastanienbaum are doing a great job in taking care of all organizational issues. The meeting is held at the campus of the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts in nearby Horw. We are most thankful to Prof. Stoessel from Lucerne University who arranged this for us!

Eawag's idyllic Kastanienbaum branch as seen from Lake Vierwaldstaettersee (image courtesy of Eawag).

Now that all observatories at all project sites have been installed or deployed for some time all participants look forward to an inspiring meeting with a lot of discussions on the data obtained. The core part of the meeting is dedicated to the reports from the different observatories. An additional focus is on the combination of monitoring and modeling activities in order to generalize the findings and to project them into the future. Efforts for data archiving in HYPOX and the linkage of HYPOX with the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) form another important part of the meeting.

On Thursday an open workshop on oxygen sensor technology and application takes place. The workshop includes presentations by sensor manufacturers as well as reports on sensor-related scientific activities.

A preliminary program of the meeting is available HERE.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

EUR-OCEANS Conference - Ocean deoxygenation and implications for marine biogeochemical cycles and ecosystems 24-26 October 2011, Toulouse, France

This conference aims to bring together biological, biogeochemical, and physical oceanographers to discuss the issue of deoxygenation in the world ocean and its implications for ocean productivity, nutrient cycling, carbon cycling, and marine habitats. A serious consequence of global warming that is increasingly gaining importance is the decrease of the dissolved oxygen content of the world ocean. Deoxygenation and extension of the Oxygen Minimum Zones (OMZs) are predicted because oxygen is less soluble in warmer waters and also because the changing oceanic stratification and circulation will reduce the supply of O2 to the ocean interior. However, the biogeochemical contribution due to the O2 consumed by the aerobic processes (e.g. remineralization, nitrification) remains to be quantified. This deoxygenation in subsurface waters will have widespread consequences due to the role O2 plays in the biogeochemical cycling of carbon, nitrogen and other important elements such as P, Fe, Mn, S, etc.. O2 is instrumental to all aerobic life and sublethal and lethal O2 thresholds vary greatly between marine organisms. OMZs are key regions in the climatic gases budgets: O2, CO2, N2O, CH4, halogenous compounds...

Some scientific related specific issues include: What is the complete influence of the OMZs on climate change, taking into account the impact of the greenhouse gases, cloud formation and control of O3 and O2? How sensitive the OMZs characteristics are to changes in oceanic circulation associated to global warming? What are the mechanisms associated with a bio-, photo-, or chemo-degradation of organic matter (including CDOM) for the production of greenhouse gases, e.g. the switch from an aerobic (O2-respiration) to an anaerobic (via NO3, SO4, methanogenesis, IO3, Fe) remineralization?

Developing new dedicated sensors for the ocean observing system, modelling tools and understanding the key relevant biogeochemical and physical processes to predict future O2 contents of the world ocean constitute an immense challenge. The goal of this conference is to provide a science arena where to discuss the state of the art of our knowledge on all these topics and in building a unified research agenda across the full range of oceanographic disciplines.

This EUR-OCEANS Consortium 2011 Conference takes a multi-disciplinary view of the problem. Oral sessions will consist of invited speakers, all very active leaders in their fields, and will mix scientists from different disciplines within the sessions. All other presentations will take place in poster sessions. Participants are very much encouraged to present their work in the form of posters. The structure of the conference will allow for formal discussion sessions in the mornings and afternoons and informal networking and discussions in the evenings. Number of participants is limited (around 70 persons). Some grants will be available for PhD and post-doc participants.

Download Flyer

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Reading suggestion: Nature publication on hypoxia off the Oregon coast

A News Feature article in Nature gives an alarming example of coastal hypoxia and pinpoints the need for oxygen monitoring to understand hypoxia causes and improve predictive capabilities

If somebody is still in doubt about the need to monitor oxygen and to better understand hypoxia formation in aquatic environments it is highly recommended to read an article by Virginia Gewin about hypoxia formation off the Oregon coast that was recently published as a Nature News Feature. For the past 9 years hypoxia has been observed in coastal waters that do not receive enough fertilizer runoff from the adjacent coast to explain the recurrent decline in oxygen concentrations by eutrophication. Instead the most probable reason for hypoxia off Oregon is a decrease in oxygen concentration in water layers that feed the seasonal upwelling. Whether or not this is directly connected to climate change is still under debate. One thing, however, is clear: in order to better understand and predict oxygen fluctuations it is necessary to improve oxygen observation capacities. A need that is certainly recognized by the hypox consortium...

Text: Felix Janssen

Friday, May 28, 2010

Second IFM-GEOMAR-HYPOX expedition to the eastern Gotland Basin (R/V ALKOR, leg AL-355)

From 29. May to 21. June R/V ALKOR is working in the eastern Gotland Basin in the central Baltic Sea. A major focus of the cruise, led by Dr. Olaf Pfannkuche from HYPOX partner IFM-GEOMAR, is to understand the role of open sea sediments of the Baltic Proper as sources and sinks for nitrogen, phosphorus, trace metals and carbon under low oxic to anoxic conditions. A lot of the work will be dedicated to in situ measurements of turnover and fluxes of nitrogen compounds, phosphate, iron, manganese and carbon in the benthic boundary layer at variable bottom water oxygen concentrations. In parallel to these measurements under natural conditions, the effects of variable oxygen availability in the bottom water on N-speciation and release of nutrients will be determined by in situ experiments. Further activities during the cruise comprise biological investigations (meiobenthos, epibenthos) and sea floor imaging. A lander observatory will be deployed at 97m for three weeks to measure currents and oxygen variability near the bottom and to take time lapse photos of the activity of bottom organisms. Major working sites will be in the eastern Gotland Basin of the Baltic Proper along a depth transect line in the Latvian EEZ. The transect line includes stations , which have been visited during a pre-study with R/V Poseidon (POS-369, July/August 2008) and during the first HYPOX Cruise with R/V Alkor (AL-346, Sept/Oct. 2009). These stations, ranging from shallow water (~ 60 m) to deepest part of the basin (~250 m), are representative for the Gotland Basin and include sites with both oxygenated and anoxic/sulfidic bottom water.

Fig. 1: R/V ALKOR: Tonnage 1322GT, Length 54,5m, Beam 12,5m, Scientific Crew 12. (Photo: IFM-GEOMAR)

Fig. 2: Map of ALKOR cruise No. 355: working area framed. (O. Pfannkuche, IFM-GEOMAR).

Fig. 3: Deployment of a GEOMAR-Lander from R/V ALKOR (Photo O. Pfannkuche, IFM-GEOMAR)

Text: Olaf Pfannkuche, IFM-GEOMAR

Thursday, April 8, 2010

HYPOX expedition to the Black Sea (12.4 to 8.5.2010)

During leg 15-1 of the german research Vessel Maria S. Merian, HYPOX scientists will carry outinvestigations in the Black sea . The HYPOX partner institutions involved in the cruise include MPI, AWI, Eawag, GKSS, Ifremer, IBSS, INGV, ITU, SAMS, and Uni-HB/MARUM. The BlackSea shelf is a natural laboratory for studying the biogeochemical signatures of oxygen depletionthe water column and sedimentary record, as the Black Sea is the largest anoxic water bodyon Earth. The transition zone between oxygen rich and oxygen depleted water is found atwater depth. During the cruise MSM15/1 the focus lies on new technologies for in situ measurements of oxygen dynamics and associated biogeochemical processes in the BlackSea. The first target area is the Turkish shelf and slope impacted by the inflow of oxicMediterranean water to the anoxic Black Sea. Here, in situ water column sampling andsediment coring will be carried out along a depth transect. The second study site is the Crimeanshelf, where surveys using MEDUSA tows as well as deployments of the benthic crawler MOVEand the submersible JAGO will be conducted to map the hydrographical conditions, thedistribution of the chemocline (transition zone between oxic andsulfidic waters) and thebenthic habitat structure. Numerous sensor platforms and sampling tools will provide a 3D image of biogeochemical processes in the hypoxic-anoxic transition zone of the Black Sea aswell as on the changing biodiversity.The mission will also contribute to the EU ARGO programby deploying floats and profilers in the western and northern Black Sea.

R/V Maria S. Merian. photo:

HYPOX student Zeynep Erdem taking samples on a previous cruise to the istanbul strait area. photo: M. Guenter, MPI

The expected cruise track and the working areas of lag 15-1 of R/V Maria S. Merian: image:, F. Janssen, MPI

Stay tuned to learn more about the cruise: during the cruise the scientist will regularly update a weblog on the cruise and on first results. please follow
this link or visit

text: M. Schloesser, A. Boetius, F. Janssen
in 100-250 m

Friday, April 2, 2010

HAUSGARTEN oxygen workshop at AWI (10.-11.3.2010)

Thomas Soltwedel from the german Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) organizes a workshop on oxygen measurements at the deep-sea long-term observatory HAUSGARTEN, which serves as an open ocean reference site within HYPOX. The prime intention of the workshop is to compile and secure all oxygen records assessed during the last 10 years of intense multidisciplinary studies at HAUSGARTEN observatory by a variety of methods: on board Winkler titrations of bottom water and in-situ incubation chamber samples, in-situ and on board microprofiler measurements as well as short- and long-term measurements with 1D Aanderaa optodes and 2D planar optodes. The compiled data will be transferred to the PANGAEA repository and thus be available via the HYPOX data portal. Workshop participants plan to use the data to assess fluxes and remineralization of organic matter and its influence on sediment oxygenation as well as for the analysis of long term trends in bottom water oxygen concentration.

All in all eight scientists from three institutions join the workshop at AWI: Cécile Cathalot & Christophe Rabouille (CEA-CNRS), Eberhard Sauter, Frank Wenzhöfer, Ingo Schewe & Thomas Soltwedel (AWI), and Janine Felden (MPI-MM). Colleagues from UGOT are not attending the workshop but provide their oxygen data collected at HAUSGARTEN in summer 2007.

Figure 1: One of the buildings of the AWI in Bremerhaven (Germany), the institution that hosts the workshop

Figure 2: the logo of Pangaea, the data archive that hosts the HAUSGARTEN data

Text: Thomas Soltwedel & Felix Janssen