My name is Arola Moreras Marti and I have completed an Undergraduate course in Geology at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). The MetTrans project on which I am working is entitled “Molybdenum Isotopes as a Tracer of Watershed Chemical Characteristics”.
The project is about broadly concerned with understanding the causes and consequences of major environmental changes through earth’s history using geochemical tracers. In this project, I will be studying the molybdenum isotope signatures of Arctic rivers to understand weathering processes in high latitude permafrost regions.
We use molybdenum because it is one of the most abundant transition metals in the oceans and is important for a range of biological and geochemical processes. In addition, molybdenum behaviour in waters is strongly redox dependent, a feature that has enabled it to be exploited as a proxy for past oceanic redox conditions. This study is based on water river samples from three Siberian Rivers: Lena, Ob and Yenisei. All of these river basins contain different levels of permafrost, which can reduce discharge during the winter months and cause a very large flood-period in late spring / early summer when the meltwater arrives. The Ob and Yenisei have variable permafrost cover, whereas the Lena watershed is covered with permafrost year-round.
The main goals of the project are
- identifying and understanding the processes that result in Mo fractionation during weathering and riverine transport,
- understanding the behaviour of Mo in high Arctic rivers, and
- to investigate the impact of basin-scale topography, vegetation, rock type and permafrost on the weathering and transport of Mo through Siberian rivers to the oceans.