Dr. Florian Scholz

Research Division Marine Biogeochemistry

Research Unit Marine Geosystems

Emmy Noether research group

ICONOX - Iron cycling in continental margin sediments and the nutrient and oxygen balance of the ocean


Wischhofstraße 1-3, 8E-109

24148 Kiel

Phone: +49 (0)431 600 2113

E-mail: fscholz(at)geomar.de

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Research Interest

Broadly speaking, my research activities center on water-solid interactions in the environment and their role in global (bio)geochemical cycles. By quantifying the turnover and fluxes of bioactive compounds in the context of past and present environmental change, I seek to understand how chemical, biological and geological processes in the ocean are coupled on a variety of spatial and temporal scales.

Specifically, my research group investigates redox- and mineral precipitation processes in aquatic sediments and water columns. We quantify fluxes of nutrients and trace elements (and their isotopes) between different reservoirs (crust, sediment, ocean) and evaluate the impact of these fluxes on aquatic ecosystems and paleo-proxy signals. The knowledge gained in modern sedimentary systems is used to reconstruct the evolution of biogeochemical cycles during key periods in Earth history.

Short sediment cores with anoxic mud and bacterial mat (left) at the sediment-water interface.
Research Vessel Sonne off the coast of Chile.
Trace metal-clean bottom water sampler for the investigation of sediment-seawater interactions.
Recovery of a gravity core for paleo-reconstructions (Gulf of California).
Pore water extraction from a sediment core using rhizons.
Redox front in deep-sea sediments in the northeast Atlantic.



Schroller-Lomnitz U., Hensen C., Dale A., Scholz F., Clemens D., Sommer S., Noffke A., Wallmann K. (2019) Dissolved benthic phosphate, iron and carbon fluxes in the Mauritanian upwelling system and implications for ongoing deoxygenation. Deep-Sea Research, in press.


Geilert S., Hensen C., Schmidt M., Liebetrau V., Scholz F., Doll M., Deng L., Fiskal A., Lever M.A., Su C.C., Schloemer S., Sarkar S., Thiel V., Berndt C. (2018) On the formation of hydrothermal vents and cold seeps in the Guaymas Basin, Gulf of California. Biogeosciences 15, 5715-5731.

Scholz F. (2018) Identifying oxygen minimum zone-type biogeochemical cycling in Earth history using inorganic geochemical proxies. Earth-Science Reviews 184, 29-45.

Scholz F., Baum M., Siebert C., Eroglu S., Dale A.W., Naumann M., Sommer S. (2018) Sedimentary molybdenum cycling in the aftermath of seawater inflow to the intermittently euxinic Gotland Deep, Central Baltic Sea. Chemical Geology 491, 27-38.

Ramalho S.P., Ribeiro C., Hensen C., Scholz F., Nuzzo M., Terrinha P., Adão H. (2018) Benthic nematode biodiversity of the Abzu, Tiamat and Michael Ivanov mud volcanoes located along the SWIM fracture zone (Gulf of Cadiz). Marine Biodiversity 48, 423-438.

Mazzini A., Scholz F., Svensen H., Hensen C., Soffian H. (2018) The geochemistry and origin of hydrothermal water erupted at Lusi, Indonesia. Marine and Petroleum Geology 90, 52-66.


Scholz F., Siebert C., Dale A., Frank M. (2017) Intense molybdenum accumulation in sediments underneath a nitrogenous water column and implications for the reconstruction of paleo-redox conditions based on molybdenum isotopes. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 213, 400-417.


Geersen J., Scholz F., Linke P., Schmidt M., Lange D., Behrmann J. H., Völker D., Hensen C. (2016) Fault zone controlled seafloor methane seepage in the rupture area of the 2010 Maule Earthquake, Central Chile. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems 17, 4802-4813.

Scholz F., Loescher C. R., Fiskal A., Sommer S., Hensen C., Lomnitz U., Wuttig K., Göttlicher J., Kossel E., Steininger R., Canfield D. E. (2016) Nitrate-dependent iron oxidation limits iron transport in anoxic ocean regions. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 454, 272-281.

Ehlert C., Doering K., Wallmann K., Scholz F., Sommer S., Grasse P., Geilert S., Frank M. (2016) Stable silicon isotope signatures of marine pore waters - biogenic opal dissolution versus authigenic clay mineral formation. Geochimica et Comsochimica Acta 191, 102-117.

Berndt C., Hensen C., Mortera-Gutierrez C., Sarkar S., Geilert S., Schmidt M., Liebetrau V., Kipfer R., Scholz F., Doll M., Muff S., Karstens J., Planke S., Petersen S., Böttner C., Chi W. C., Moser M., Behrendt R., Fiskal A., Lever M. A., Su C. C., Deng L., Brennwald M.S., Lizarralde D. (2016) Rifting under steam - How rift magmatism triggers methane venting from sedimentary basins. Geology 44, 767-770.


Dale A., Nickelsen L., Scholz F., Hensen C., Oschlies A., Wallmann K. (2015) A revised global estimate of dissolved iron fluxes from marine sediments. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 29, 691-707.

Hensen C., Scholz F., Nuzzo M.,Valadares V., Gràcia E., Terrinha P., Liebetrau V., Kaul N., Silva S., Martínez-Loriente S., Bartolome R., Piñero E., Magalhães V.H., Schmidt M., Weise S.M., Cunha M., Hilario A., Perea H., Rovelli L., Lackschewitz K. (2015) Strike-slip faults mediate the rise of crustal-derived fluids and mud volcanism in the deep sea. Geology 43, 339-342.


Scholz F., Severmann S., McManus J., Noffke A., Lomnitz U., Hensen C. (2014) On the isotope composition of reactive iron in marine sediments: Redox shuttle versus early diagenesis. Chemical Geology 389, 48-59. 

Scholz F., McManus J., Mix A.C., Hensen C., Schneider R.R. (2014) The impact of ocean deoxygenation on iron release from continental margin sediments. Nature Geoscience 7, 433-437.

Scholz F., Severmann S., McManus J., Hensen C. (2014) Beyond the Black Sea paradigm: The sedimentary fingerprint of an open-marine iron shuttle. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 127, 368-380.


Neumann T., Scholz F., Kramar U., Ostermaier M., Rausch N., Berner Z. (2013) Arsenic in framboidal pyrite from recent sediments of a shallow water lagoon of the Baltic Sea. Sedimentology 60, 1389-1404.

Scholz F., McManus J., Sommer S. (2013) The manganese and iron shuttle in a modern euxinic basin and implications for molybdenum cycling at euxinic ocean margins. Chemical Geology 355, 56-68.

Haffert L., Haeckel M., Liebetrau V., Berndt C., Nuzzo M., Reitz A., Scholz F., Schönfeld J., Perez‐Garcia C., Weise S. M. (2013) Fluid evolution and authigenic mineral paragenesis related to salt diapirism ‐ the Mercator mud volcano in the Gulf of Cadiz. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 106, 261-286.

Scholz F., Hensen C., Schmidt M. , Geersen J. (2013) Submarine weathering of silicate minerals and the extent of pore water freshening at active continental margins. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 100, 200‐216.


Nuzzo M., Elvert M., Schmidt M., Scholz F., Reitz A., Ferreira A., Hinrichs K.‐U., Hensen C. (2012) Impact of hot fluid advection on hydrocarbon gas production and seepage in mud volcano sediments of thick Cenozoic deltas. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 341‐344, 139‐157.

Noffke A., Hensen C., Sommer F., Scholz F., Bohlen L., Mosch T., Graco M., Wallmann K. (2012) Benthic iron and phosphorus fluxes across the Peruvian oxygen minimum zone. Limnology and Oceanography 57, 851‐867.


Scholz F., Hensen C., Noffke A., Rohde A., Liebetrau V., Wallmann K. (2011) Early diagenesis of redox‐sensitive metals in the Peru upwelling area: response to ENSO‐related oxygen fluctuations in the water column. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 75, 7257‐7276.

Bohlen L., Sommer S., Dale A., Mosch T., Hensen C., Noffke A., Scholz F., Wallmann K. (2011) Benthic nitrogen cycling traversing the Peruvian oxygen minimum zone. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 75, 6094‐6111.

Völker D., Scholz F., Geersen J. (2011) Analysis of submarine landsliding in the rupture area of the 27 February 2010 Maule earthquake, Central Chile. Marine Geology 28, 79‐89.

Reitz A., Pape T., Haeckel M., Schmidt M., Berner U., Scholz F., Liebetrau V., Aloisi G., Weise S.M. , Wallmann K. (2011) Sources of fluids and gases expelled at cold seeps offshore Georgia, eastern Black Sea. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 75, 3250‐3268.

2010 and prior

Scholz F., Hensen C., De Lange G.J., Haeckel M., Liebetrau V., Meixner A., Reitz A., Romer R.L. (2010) Lithium isotope geochemistry of marine pore waters: Insights from cold seep fluids. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 74, 3459‐3475.

Scholz F., Hensen C., Lu Z., Fehn U. (2010) Controls on the 129I/I ratio of deep‐seated marine interstitial fluids: 'old' organic versus fissiogenic 129‐iodine. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 294, 27‐36.

Feseker T., Brown K.R., Blanchet C., Scholz F., Nuzzo M., Reitz A., Schmidt M., Hensen C. (2010) Active mud volcanoes on the upper slope of the western Nile deep‐sea fan – first results from the P362/cruise of R/V Poseidon, Geo‐Marine Letters. DOI 10.1007/s00367‐010‐0192‐0.

Nuzzo M., Hornibrook E.R.C., Gill F., Hensen C., Pancost R.D., Haeckel M., Reitz A., Scholz F., Magalhães V.H., Brückmann W., Pinheiro L.M. (2009) Origin of light volatile hydrocarbon gases in mud volcano fluids, Gulf of Cadiz – Evidence for multiple sources and transport mechanisms in active sedimentary wedges. Chemical Geology 266, 359‐372.

Scholz F., Hensen C., Reitz A., Romer R.L., Liebetrau V., Meixner A., Weise S.M., Haeckel M. (2009) Isotopic evidence (87Sr/86Sr, δ7Li) for alteration of the oceanic crust at deep‐rooted mud volcanoes in the Gulf of Cadiz, NE Atlantic Ocean. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 73, 5444‐5459 (Corrigendum published in 2015, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 152, 52-53).

Scholz F., Neumann T. (2007) Trace element diagenesis in pyrite‐rich sediments of the Achterwasser lagoon, SW Baltic Sea. Marine Chemistry 107, 516‐532.