Portsmouth/Southampton - Particles of the waves

May 27, 2010

Volcanic ash from Iceland may have caused disruption for many, but it has also allowed marine researchers in the North Atlantic to conduct a unique experiment. A team from the University of Portsmouth and the University of Southampton are engaged on a long-planned research voyage to sample atmospheric dust in ocean water and measure phytoplankton productivity. The volcanic ash thrown up by the Eyjafjallajokull eruptions has provided the team with a "natural experiment" to examine the impact of iron-rich volcanic ash on marine biology and chemistry. The researchers are particularly interested in whether the ash alters the marine system's iron-limited condition.

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