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Wayne State part of international effort to understand chemical movement, processes in oceans

December 2, 2012

A Wayne State University researcher is working to advance understanding of the movement of chemical compounds through the world's oceans. Mark Baskaran, professor of geology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, has received a three-year, $190,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for a project that will follow the pathways and cycling of two trace elements in the Pacific Ocean from Peru to Tahiti. During a two-month cruise beginning in October 2013, Baskaran and WSU student John Niedermiller will collect thousands of liters of water samples from up to 5,000-meter depths for polonium and lead analysis in various types of waters, including those with high biological activity, those with low oxygen, and hydrothermal plumes (areas of warmer water). Such plumes can affect a number of biological processes, including large areas of algae bloom.