This year, two young female scientists were honored with the Otto Krümmel Sponsorship Award: Sophia Stavrakoudis from Hannover and Vera Stockmayer from Kiel.
Sophia Stavrakoudis received the prize for her degree in geosciences from Leibniz University Hanover. In the deep sea of the ocean, metal-bearing hydrothermal vents exist along plate boundaries of the Earth's crust, which can form polymetallic massive sulfide deposits on the seafloor. Depending on the geology of the particular ocean area, these deposits can contain valuable non-ferrous and precious metals, such as copper, zinc, gold and silver in high concentrations. In her work “Geochemical and Mineralogical Investigation on the newly discovered SURYA Hydrothermal Field in the Central Indian Ocean”, the award winner has for the first time examined ore and rock samples from the vicinity of the recently discovered SURYA hydrothermal field in the Indian Ocean in great detail for their ore content and composition using various modern methods. Due to the unusually high contents of copper, tin and rare metals such as gold and silver, SURYA is a scientifically interesting deposit, but a possible mining in the future will hardly be profitable because of its relatively small size.
"With her work, Ms. Stavrakoudis gives us an insight into the nature, composition and formation of this deposit, and provides an important contribution for us to evaluate the raw material potential," says her supervisor, Dr. Sebastian Fuchs, from the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources. Ms. Stavrakoudis is continuing her scientific career with a master's degree majoring in "Marine Geosciences" at the University of Bremen.
Vera Stockmayer is a student at Kiel University (Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, CAU). She receives the award for her achievements in the course Physics of the Earth Systems, Oceanography. In her work “Variations of Temperature, Salinity and Oxygen of the Baltic Sea for the Period 1950 to 2020” she investigates how climatological changes of the last seven decades affect the hydrography of the Baltic Sea. For this purpose, observational data and data from a numerical circulation model of the Baltic Sea were analyzed. In addition, atmospheric parameters were considered to determine their influence on hydrographic variations. Sea surface temperature variations are closely related to changes in air temperature. Overall, the entire water column of the Baltic Sea has warmed over the period from 1950 to 2020. The trend is strongest at the sea surface, which has warmed by about 0.3-0.4°C per decade. For surface salinity, variability is pronounced on annual and decadal time scales and correlated with river water input to the Baltic Sea. Trend calculations show a significant decrease in surface salinity and an increase below the haline thermocline. The cause of the reciprocal trends in salinity is the subject of current research. Annual and interannual variations in surface oxygen concentration are negatively correlated with water temperature. Increasing water temperatures affect oxygen solubility at the sea surface and enhance oxygen consumption by biogeochemical processes.
"I am very pleased and congratulate Vera Stockmayer on this award," says her supervisor Dr. Andreas Lehmann from GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, who also gave a short laudation to the award winner. The results of her bachelor thesis will be published in the journal Oceanologia. This lays an important foundation for her scientific work. Vera Stockmayer will continue her scientific career with a master's degree in Climate Physics in Kiel.
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