CALCIUM CARBONATE SEDIMENTS

Made up of broken down skeletons, shells, and tests, calcium carbonate sediments comprise a large portion of the benthic habitat of coral reef ecosystems. The topography and coarse nature of these sediments generates an advective flow of overlying seawater, which supports large benthic oxygen and carbon fluxes despite their low organic matter content. These shallow sediments undergo intense diel cycles of photosynthesis and respiration driven by the microbes and other organisms that live within them. The metabolic uptake and production of carbon dioxide can also drive diel cycles in calcium carbonate precipitation and dissolution, making these sediments a very dynamic system to work in. My research utilizes novel and traditional techniques to investigate the biogeochemical cycles that occur within carbonate sands and their larger role in coral reef ecosystems.

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