Kevin Burton, Durham University: our collaborative projects focus on understanding modern chemical weathering, and its effect on climate, via drawdown of CO2. This work mostly focuses on Iceland, but we have also studied areas of Greenland and Costa Rica. In the former areas, particularly the difference between glaciated and non-glaciated terrains is of interest, to determine what is happening as the glaciers melt more and more rapidly. These studies of modern biogeochemical cycles also tell us what might have happened during past events of climate change.
The effect of hydrothermal spring weathering processes and primary productivity on lithium isotopes: Lake Myvatn, Icela
This study presents lithium isotope compositions (δ7Li) for cold groundwaters (3–7 °C) and hydrothermal springs that were at geothermal temperatures (200–300 °C) but have cooled during transport (17–44 °C). We also present a time-series from the Laxa River, which is the single outflow from the lake.The results clearly illustrate that Li isotopes are ideally suited to constrain silicate weathering processes, because fractionation by secondary mineral formation operates even when groundwater and hydrothermal inputs are significant, and because Li isotopes are demonstrably unaffected by phytoplankton or plant growth.