Moosdorf, Nils (2019) Rocks and groundwater in the Earth system: Local to global scale solute fluxes and consequences (Habilitation thesis). (Professorial dissertation), University of Bremen, Bremen, 605 pp.

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This work is a synopsis of published and submitted research papers and maps that Nils Moosdorf (NM)
has authored in the form of a cumulative habilitation thesis. It presents global estimates of nutrient and
carbon fluxes through various pathways along with the research supporting the estimates and
contributing to defining the role of rocks and groundwater in the Earth system.
The empirical approach applied in many of the presented analyses requires large amounts of detailed
global scale data. In particular, knowledge of the global distribution of rock types at very high resolution.
To meet this requirement a lithological map was developed in conjunction with a hydrochemical river
database. Chapter 2.2 presents the generation of these data and their derivatives and chapter 2.1 contains
an introduction to the Earth system thinking that drove the presented research.
Chapter 3 centers on chemical weathering and its role in the global biogeochemical cycles of phosphorus,
silicon and strontium (Chapter 3.1) as well as carbon (Chapter 3.2). Here, the methodology introduced
during NM’s PhD-thesis, (i.e., the empirical approach to estimate large scale chemical weathering rates
based on large databases of point observations statistically connected to the spatial attributes of their
catchments in North America) is extended to the global scale, to future projections, and to different
solutes. No material contained in NM’s PhD-thesis is included in this work. Chapter 3 focuses on rivers
and surface water to elucidate the role of chemical rock weathering in global biogeochemical cycles and
the Earth system.
Chapter 4 addresses groundwater in the Earth system. While working on chemical weathering from a
riverine perspective, it became obvious that most of the mobilization processes happen in the
groundwater, and thus its role in the Earth system should be investigated more closely. One aspect in that
regard is the direct interaction of terrestrial groundwater with the climate system, which is explored in
chapter 4.1. A second often-neglected role is that of groundwater entering the oceans and adding to landocean
matter fluxes, which are usually ascribed as being driven solely by rivers and atmospheric transport.
This role is addressed at different scales in chapter 4.2.
At the end of each sub-chapter (i.e., 2.2, 3.1, 3.2, 4.1, 4.2) NMs contributions to the respective field are
listed in the form of a publication list. Each paper’s role in the field as well as NM’s the contributions to
the papers are described. Chapters 2, 3, and 4 consist of material from the original papers, which are
attached in the appendix. The synopsis concludes with chapter 5, which summarizes the broader
conclusions of the thesis and positions its implications in the research landscape.

Document Type: Thesis supervision (Professorial dissertation)
Thesis supervisor: UNSPECIFIED
Date Deposited: 01 Sep 2020 12:49
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2020 13:01

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