Oregon State University

Natalie Murray- Visitor's Write-up 2015

Natalie Murray- Ph.D. Graduate Student from UoA, OH

“Hi my name is Natalie Murray and I am a second year graduate student at the University of Akron in Akron, OH. I am studying how volcanics play a role in Earth’s carbon cycle and more specifically to see if the cycling of mobile reactive metals (Fe and Mn) from tephra diagenesis within deep-sea sediments will promote organic carbon burial. We believe tephra is reactive and during diagenesis, tephra releases these mineral phases into solution that would diffuse upwards from the sediment package and re-precipitate as metal oxides on the seafloor, allowing organic carbon to adsorb to the fresh mineral surfaces. Organic carbon adsorbing to the fresh mineral surfaces acts as a barrier to microbial degradation. I am visiting Oregon State University to run cation and strontium columns, so samples are ready to run on the mass spectrometer. Volcanoes have a distinct Sr-isotope signature compared to seawater. Sr is a useful tool in understanding tephra diagenesis and changes in the 87Sr/86Sr will let us know if tephra is as reactive as previously thought.”