My research focuses on rare earth elements (REEs) and metal isotopes (Fe, Mo) in high energy beaches. The subsurface of beaches, located in the mixing zone of fresh ground water and seawater, is referred to as subterranean estuary (STE). Tide and wave influenced STEs are major biogeochemical reactors, due to the regular oxygen and organic matter (OM) supply from seawater infiltration during high tide and subsequent OM degradation and nutrient/metal release to the pore water, which finally discharges back into the coastal sea. Hence, such systems are characterized by redox gradients, which impact the behaviour of REEs and metal isotopes. The two main objectives of my research are therefore to:
- Characterise the spatial REE patterns and metal isotope signatures in sediment and pore water of the deep STE under different environmental conditions, including, e.g., OM and metal oxide related (redox) processes.
- Identify the impact of the spatial and temporal dynamics of the STE on these patterns.