Trace Gas Biogeochemistry
The Liss Group - Research
University of East Anglia, Norwich




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Led by Professor Peter Liss, the Group carries out research mainly in the area of air-sea exchange of trace gases. This involves studies of gases such as dimethyl sulphide (DMS), organo-halogens, non-methane hydrocarbons, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, ammonia and methylamines and some volatile trace metals. We are interested in the processes of formation and destruction of these gases in seawater, how they cross the air-sea interface and how the rate of interfacial transfer can be parameterised and quantified. These gases are reactive in the atmosphere and are important in aspects of air chemistry (including redox and acid-base chemistry) and the radiation balance of the atmosphere via the formation of particles.

The work falls in the general context of the role of air-sea exchange in geochemical cycling and global change. As such, it often contributes to the core objectives of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), and particularly its IGAC (International Global Atmospheric Chemistry) and new IMBER (Integrated Marine Biogeochemistry and Ecosystem Research) programme elements. It is central to the new IGBP/SCOR/CACGP/WCRP project called SOLAS (Surface Ocean - Lower Atmosphere Study) and hosts the SOLAS International Project Office.

The research is pursued through laboratory, field and modelling studies. Field work is often on ocean going research vessels, both U.K. and international. We are well equipped for trace gas analysis with 10 gas chromatographs and 3 benchtop GC/MSs, and also have facilities for phytoplankton culturing and microbiological studies, in addition to an irradiator for examination of the role of photochemistry in trace gas production and destruction in seawater.

The pages listed below are structured in such a way that an increase in detail and complexity should be found as one progresses down the list. All pages are interlinked where possible and there is the dropdown list of research topics at the top of every page on this site, so there should be no need to keep returning to this page. We reccomend that the air-sea exchange of trace gases or trace gas biology would be good places to start.

Not all of the pages are completed at the moment, but they should all be there soon. If the page you are interested in is not available, please contact Rosie and she will pester the scientists to finish off their contributions! (and will be able to put you in touch with the relevant person).

Introduction to DMS and other sulfur compounds
Trace Gas Biology
Chemical Signalling
Acrylic Acid
Marine Viruses
Sulfur Isotopes
Iron and Trace Gases
Air-Sea Gas Exchange
Links Between DMS and Ammonia
Alkyl Iodides
Alkyl Nitrates
Halocarbon Photochemistry
Non-Methane Hydrocarbons
Mesocosm Experiments
Laboratory Facilities
Other Work