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Dr. Patrick Monien



Petrology of the Ocean Crust


+49 421 218-65403


+49 421 218-9865403



GEO II, 5310

Dr. Patrick Monien


Since the middle of the 20th century the western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) belongs to the regions with the most rapid warming on Earth and is therefore considered to be one of the hotspots of climate change. During the last six decades an increase in mean annual air temperatures of more than 3°C is observed along the WAP causing severe changes in local cryospheric and ecosystems. The overarching aim is to assess, whether the documented temperature increase and associated glacier retreat at WAP is reflected in the geochemistry of sedimentary records and if such episodes did occur during other periods within the Holocene. Moreover, a focus is on biogeochemical processes in maritime Antarctic sediments and their implications for local benthic and pelagic communities.
  • Investigation of temporal changes in the geochemical composition of marine sediments derived from Maxwell Bay (King George Island, WAP) that may be directly related to changing source areas due glacier retreats and re-advances during the Holocene.
  • Dating of surface sediments using 210Pb in order to assess whether the rapid glacier retreat and the concurrent increase in sediment-laden meltwater input in costal regions had an influence on local sediment accumulation rates since the middle of the last century.
  • Reconstruction of historical penguin colonies on Ardley Island (WAP) using guano-associated bio-elements (e.g., Ca, P, Cu, Se, Zn) in lake sediments and determination of possible factors controlling local penguin population dynamics during the Holocene (climate change, sea ice extent, relative sea level and volcanic eruptions).
  • Determination of major pathways of organic matter degradation in coastal Antarctic sediments using pore water data (nutrients, trace metals, like Mn and Fe). In combination with mathematical models the significance of Antarctic shelf areas as a source for bioavailable iron in the HNLC (high nutrient – low chlorophyll) Southern Ocean will be assessed.
Potter Cove und Carlini Station, King George Island, Westantarktische Halbinsel.

Potter Cove and Carlini Station, King George Island, western Antarctic Peninsula.

Publications (peer-reviewed)

  • Zwicker J, Smrzka D, Himmler T, Monien P, Gier S, Goedert J, Peckmann J (2018): Rare earth elements as tracers for microbial activity and early diagenesis: A new perspective from carbonate cements of ancient methane-seep deposits. Chemical Geology 501, 77-85.
  • Jerosch K, Pehlke H, Monien P, Scharf FK, Weber L, Kuhn G, Braun MH, Abele D (2018): Benthic meltwater fjord habitats formed by rapid glacier recession on King George Island, Antarctica. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A 376(2122):20170178.
  • Vázquez S, Monien P, Minetti RP, Jürgens J, Curtosi A, Villalba Primatz J, Frickenhaus S, Abele D, Mac Cormack W, Helmke E (2017): Bacterial communities and chemical parameters in soils and coastal sediments in response to diesel spills at Carlini Station, Antarctica. Science of the Total Environment 605-606, 26-37.
  • Roberts SJ*, Monien P*, Foster LC*, Loftfield J, Hocking EP, Schnetger B, Pearson EJ, Juggins S, Fretwell P, Ireland L, Ochyra R, Haworth AR, Allen CS, Moreton SG, Davies SJ, Brumsack H-J, Bentley MJ, Hodgson DA (2017): Past penguin colony responses to explosive volcanism on the Antarctic Peninsula. Nature Communications 8, 14914.
  • Monien D, Monien P, Brünjes R, Widmer T, Kappenberg A, Silva Busso AA, Schnetger B, Brumsack H-J (2017): Meltwater as a source of potentially bioavailable iron to Antarctica waters. Antarctic Science 29(3), 277-291.
  • Smrzka D, Zwicker J, Klügel A, Monien P, Bach W, Bohrmann G, Peckmann J (2016): Establishing criteria to distinguish oil- from methane-seep carbonates. Geology 44(8), 667-670.
  • Sahade R, Lagger C, Torre L, Momo F, Monien P, Schloss I, Barnes DKA, Servetto N, Tarantelli S, Tatián M, Zamboni NS, Abele D (2015): Climate change and glacier retreat drive shifts in an Antarctic benthic ecosystem. Science Advances 1, e1500050.
  • Schroeder T, Bach W, Jöns N, Jöns S, Monien P, Klügel A (2015): Fluid circulation and carbonate vein precipitation in the footwall of an oceanic core complex, Ocean Drilling Program Site 175, Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems 16, 3716-3732.
  • Monien P, Lettmann KA, Monien D, Asendorf S, Wölfl A-C, Lim CH, Thal J, Schnetger B, Brumsack H-J (2014): Redox conditions and trace metal cycling in coastal sediments from the maritime Antarctic. Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta 141, 26-44.
  • Schloss IR, Wasilowska A, Dumont D, Almandoz GO, Hernando MP, Michaud-Tremblay C-A, Saravia L, Rzepecki M, Monien P, Monien D, Kopczyńska EE, Bers V, Ferreyra GA (2014): On the phytoplankton bloom in coastal waters of southern King George Island (Antarctica) in January 2010: An exceptional feature? Limnology & Oceanography 59(1), 195-210.
  • Poigner H, Monien P, Monien D, Kriews M, Brumsack H-J, Wilhelms-Dick D, Abele D (2013): Influence of the pore water geochemistry on Fe and Mn assimilation in Laternula elliptica at King George Island (Antarctica). Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 135, 285-295.
  • Husmann G, Abele D, Kriews M, Monien P, Philipp EER (2012): The influence of sedimentation on metal accumulation and cellular oxidative stress markers in the Antarctic bivalve Laternula elliptica. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 111, 48-59.
  • Watcham EP, Bentley MJ, Hodgson DA, Roberts SJ, Fretwell PT, Lloyd JM, Larter RD, Whitehouse PL, Leng MJ, Monien P, Moreton SG (2011): A new relative sea level curve for the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica. Quaternary Science Reviews 30, 3152-3170.
  • Monien P, Brumsack H-J, Schnetger B, Hass HC, Kuhn G (2011): A geochemical record of Late Holocene paleoenvironmental changes at King George Island (maritime Antarctica). Antarctic Science 23(3), 255-267.
  • Hass HC, Kuhn G, Monien P, Brumsack H-J, Forwick M (2010): Climate fluctuations during the past two millennia as recorded in sediments from Maxwell Bay, South Shetland Islands, West Antarctica. In: Howe J, Austin WEN, Paetzel M and Forwick M (eds): Fjordic Depositional Systems and Archives. Geological Society of London Spec. Publ. 344, 243-260.
  • Poigner H, Badewien T, Suckow B, Monien P (2009): Stickstoff und Phosphoreleminierung von Bodenfiltern - Vergleichende Untersuchung eines Horizontal- und eines Vertikalfiltersystems in Niedersachsen außerhalb der Vegetationsperiode. GWF - Wasser/Abwasser, Nr. 10/2009.
* These authors contributed equally to this work