Universität Wien FIND
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300329 VO Biogeochemistry of the Ocean (2020W)

3.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 30 - Biologie


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


Language: English

Examination dates



Beginning: 12.10.2020, Monday 9:30 -11:00 hours, Location: Online via BigBlueButton (Information will be provided in advance)

Attention: On Monday 5.10.2020 we will have a test session and introduction to the course.


Aims, contents and method of the course

Biogeochemistry of the oceans is the study of biological, geological, physical and chemical processes that govern the distribution of chemical elements in the ocean. On a short time scale the cycling of elements in the ocean (such as carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus) is generally influenced by biological processes. To predict the matter cycling processes on longer time scales (>10 years), however, it is necessary to infer the biological processes from chemical measurements based on the knowledge of water transport in the ocean. The fate of anthropogenic CO2 added to the atmosphere is one topic where the interdisciplinary field of biogeochemistry leads to major insights on the feedback mechanisms of the ocean and its long term balancing effect on global change.
The lecture starts with describing the distribution of the major chemical elements in the ocean followed by an introduction to the mechanisms of the water mass transport through the oceans. Exchange processes between the air-sea interface and between the ocean and the seafloor sediments will inform us about the boundary conditions of the cycling of matter in the ocean. Based on this knowledge we will develop the cycles of Nitrate, Phosphate, Silicate, Carbon and Calcium Carbonate in the open ocean that will point out the link between the different disciplines of bio-geo-chemistry.

Assessment and permitted materials

Written exam.
Update due to Covid-19 from 01.01.2021:
The exam will be a digital exam in open book format. I.e. students have to answer 6 more extensive questions and may use all literature at their disposal.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Update due to Covid-19 from 01.01.2021:
Per question 15 points are possible and a total of 90 points can be reached. >50% of the points are needed to reach a positive grade.

Examination topics

Subjects introduced in the lecture series and selfstudy from books.

Reading list

Will be presented on the first meeting.

Association in the course directory

MEC-9, UF MA BU 01, UF MA BU 04, MZO W-8, EF-1, EF-2, EF-3, FEG III-1, PS1

Last modified: We 21.04.2021 11:27