Prouty Nancy G.

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Nancy G.

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Now showing 1 - 9 of 9
  • Article
    Vulnerability of coral reefs to bioerosion from land-based sources of pollution
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2017-12-01) Prouty, Nancy G. ; Cohen, Anne L. ; Yates, Kimberly K. ; Storlazzi, Curt D. ; Swarzenski, Peter W. ; White, Darla
    Ocean acidification (OA), the gradual decline in ocean pH and [ inline image] caused by rising levels of atmospheric CO2, poses a significant threat to coral reef ecosystems, depressing rates of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) production, and enhancing rates of bioerosion and dissolution. As ocean pH and [ inline image] decline globally, there is increasing emphasis on managing local stressors that can exacerbate the vulnerability of coral reefs to the effects of OA. We show that sustained, nutrient rich, lower pH submarine groundwater discharging onto nearshore coral reefs off west Maui lowers the pH of seawater and exposes corals to nitrate concentrations 50 times higher than ambient. Rates of coral calcification are substantially decreased, and rates of bioerosion are orders of magnitude higher than those observed in coral cores collected in the Pacific under equivalent low pH conditions but living in oligotrophic waters. Heavier coral nitrogen isotope (δ15N) values pinpoint not only site-specific eutrophication, but also a sewage nitrogen source enriched in 15N. Our results show that eutrophication of reef seawater by land-based sources of pollution can magnify the effects of OA through nutrient driven-bioerosion. These conditions could contribute to the collapse of coastal coral reef ecosystems sooner than current projections predict based only on ocean acidification.
  • Article
    Environmental assessment of metal exposure to corals living in Castle Harbour, Bermuda
    (Elsevier B.V., 2013-05-07) Prouty, Nancy G. ; Goodkin, Nathalie F. ; Jones, R. ; Lamborg, Carl H. ; Storlazzi, Curt D. ; Hughen, Konrad A.
    Environmental contamination in Castle Harbour, Bermuda, has been linked to the dissolution and leaching of contaminants from the adjacent marine landfill. This study expands the evidence for environmental impact of leachate from the landfill by quantitatively demonstrating elevated metal uptake over the last 30 years in corals growing in Castle Harbour. Coral Pb/Ca, Zn/Ca and Mn/Ca ratios and total Hg concentrations are elevated relative to an adjacent control site in John Smith's Bay. The temporal variability in the Castle Harbour coral records suggests that while the landfill has increased in size over the last 35 years, the dominant input of metals is through periodic leaching of contaminants from the municipal landfill and surrounding sediment. Elevated contaminants in the surrounding sediment suggest that resuspension is an important transport medium for transferring heavy metals to corals. Increased winds, particularly during the 1990s, were accompanied by higher coral metal composition at Castle Harbour. Coupled with wind-induced resuspension, interannual changes in sea level within the Harbour can lead to increased bioavailability of sediment-bound metals and subsequent coral metal assimilation. At John Smith's Bay, large scale convective mixing may be driving interannual metal variability in the coral record rather than impacts from land-based activities. Results from this study provide important insights into the coupling of natural variability and anthropogenic input of contaminants to the nearshore environment.
  • Article
    Corrigendum to “Insights into methane dynamics from analysis of authigenic carbonates and chemosynthetic mussels at newly-discovered Atlantic Margin seeps” [Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 449 (2016) 332–344]
    (Elsevier, 2017-08-03) Prouty, Nancy G. ; Sahy, Diana ; Ruppel, Carolyn D. ; Roark, E. Brendan ; Condon, Daniel J. ; Brooke, Sandra ; Ross, Steve W. ; Demopoulos, Amanda W. J.
  • Article
    Focused fluid flow and methane venting along the Queen Charlotte fault, offshore Alaska (USA) and British Columbia (Canada)
    (Geological Society of America, 2020-11-02) Prouty, Nancy G. ; Brothers, Daniel S. ; Kluesner, Jared W. ; Barrie, J. Vaughn ; Andrews, Brian D. ; Lauer, Rachel M. ; Greene, H. Gary ; Conrad, James E. ; Lorenson, Thomas D. ; Law, Michael D. ; Sahy, Diana ; Conway, Kim ; McGann, Mary L. ; Dartnell, Peter
    Fluid seepage along obliquely deforming plate boundaries can be an important indicator of crustal permeability and influence on fault-zone mechanics and hydrocarbon migration. The ∼850-km-long Queen Charlotte fault (QCF) is the dominant structure along the right-lateral transform boundary that separates the Pacific and North American tectonic plates offshore southeastern Alaska (USA) and western British Columbia (Canada). Indications for fluid seepage along the QCF margin include gas bubbles originating from the seafloor and imaged in the water column, chemosynthetic communities, precipitates of authigenic carbonates, mud volcanoes, and changes in the acoustic character of seismic reflection data. Cold seeps sampled in this study preferentially occur along the crests of ridgelines associated with uplift and folding and between submarine canyons that incise the continental slope strata. With carbonate stable carbon isotope (δ13C) values ranging from −46‰ to −3‰, there is evidence of both microbial and thermal degradation of organic matter of continental-margin sediments along the QCF. Both active and dormant venting on ridge crests indicate that the development of anticlines is a key feature along the QCF that facilitates both trapping and focused fluid flow. Geochemical analyses of methane-derived authigenic carbonates are evidence of fluid seepage along the QCF since the Last Glacial Maximum. These cold seeps sustain vibrant chemosynthetic communities such as clams and bacterial mats, providing further evidence of venting of reduced chemical fluids such as methane and sulfide along the QCF.
  • Preprint
    Century-scale records of land-based activities recorded in Mesoamerican coral cores
    ( 2009-07) Carilli, Jessica E. ; Prouty, Nancy G. ; Hughen, Konrad A. ; Norris, Richard D.
    The Mesoamerican Reef, the second-largest barrier reef in the world, is located in the western Caribbean Sea off the coasts of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras. Particularly in the south, the surrounding watersheds are steep and the climate is extremely wet. With development and agricultural expansion, the potential for negative impacts to the reef from land-based runoff becomes high. We constructed annually resolved century-scale records of metal/calcium ratios in coral skeletons collected from four sites experiencing a gradient of land-based runoff. Our proxy data indicate that runoff onto the reef has increased relatively steadily over time at all sites, consistent with land use trends from historical records. Sediment supply to the reef is greater in the south, and these more exposed reefs will probably benefit most immediately from management that targets runoff reduction. However, because runoff at all sites is steadily increasing, even distal sites will benefit from watershed management.
  • Article
    Observations of nearshore groundwater discharge : Kahekili Beach Park submarine springs, Maui, Hawaii
    (Elsevier, 2016-01-14) Swarzenski, Peter W. ; Dulai, Henrietta ; Kroeger, Kevin D. ; Smith, Christopher G. ; Dimova, Natasha T. ; Storlazzi, Curt D. ; Prouty, Nancy G. ; Gingerich, Stephen B. ; Glenn, Craig R.
    The study region encompasses the nearshore, coastal waters off west Maui, Hawaii. Here abundant groundwater—that carries with it a strong land-based fingerprint—discharges into the coastal waters and over a coral reef. Coastal groundwater discharge is a ubiquitous hydrologic feature that has been shown to impact nearshore ecosystems and material budgets. A unique combined geochemical tracer and oceanographic time-series study addressed rates and oceanic forcings of submarine groundwater discharge at a submarine spring site off west Maui, Hawaii. Estimates of submarine groundwater discharge were derived for a primary vent site and surrounding coastal waters off west Maui, Hawaii using an excess 222Rn (t1/2 = 3.8 d) mass balance model. Such estimates were complemented with a novel thoron (220Rn, t1/2 = 56 s) groundwater discharge tracer application, as well as oceanographic time series and thermal infrared imagery analyses. In combination, this suite of techniques provides new insight into the connectivity of the coastal aquifer with the near-shore ocean and examines the physical drivers of submarine groundwater discharge. Lastly, submarine groundwater discharge derived constituent concentrations were tabulated and compared to surrounding seawater concentrations. Such work has implications for the management of coastal aquifers and downstream nearshore ecosystems that respond to sustained constituent loadings via this submarine route.
  • Article
    Ocean circulation and biogeochemistry moderate interannual and decadal surface water pH changes in the Sargasso Sea
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2015-06-25) Goodkin, Nathalie F. ; Wang, Bo-Shian ; You, Chen-Feng ; Hughen, Konrad A. ; Prouty, Nancy G. ; Bates, Nicholas R. ; Doney, Scott C.
    The oceans absorb anthropogenic CO2 from the atmosphere, lowering surface ocean pH, a concern for calcifying marine organisms. The impact of ocean acidification is challenging to predict as each species appears to respond differently and because our knowledge of natural changes to ocean pH is limited in both time and space. Here we reconstruct 222 years of biennial seawater pH variability in the Sargasso Sea from a brain coral, Diploria labyrinthiformis. Using hydrographic data from the Bermuda Atlantic Time-series Study and the coral-derived pH record, we are able to differentiate pH changes due to surface temperature versus those from ocean circulation and biogeochemical changes. We find that ocean pH does not simply reflect atmospheric CO2 trends but rather that circulation/biogeochemical changes account for >90% of pH variability in the Sargasso Sea and more variability in the last century than would be predicted from anthropogenic uptake of CO2 alone.
  • Article
    Exploring US Mid-Atlantic Margin methane seeps : IMMeRSS, May 2017
    (The Oceanography Society, 2018-03) Ruppel, Carolyn D. ; Demopoulos, Amanda W. J. ; Prouty, Nancy G.
  • Article
    Insights into methane dynamics from analysis of authigenic carbonates and chemosynthetic mussels at newly-discovered Atlantic Margin seeps
    (Elsevier, 2016-06-03) Prouty, Nancy G. ; Sahy, Diana ; Ruppel, Carolyn D. ; Roark, E. Brendan ; Condon, Daniel J. ; Brooke, Sandra ; Ross, Steve W. ; Demopoulos, Amanda W. J.
    The recent discovery of active methane venting along the US northern and mid-Atlantic margin represents a new source of global methane not previously accounted for in carbon budgets from this region. However, uncertainty remains as to the origin and history of methane seepage along this tectonically inactive passive margin. Here we present the first isotopic analyses of authigenic carbonates and methanotrophic deep-sea mussels, Bathymodiolus sp., and the first direct constraints on the timing of past methane emission, based on samples collected at the upper slope Baltimore Canyon (∼385 m water depth) and deepwater Norfolk (∼1600 m) seep fields within the area of newly-discovered venting. The authigenic carbonates at both sites were dominated by aragonite, with an average View the MathML sourceδC13 signature of −47‰−47‰, a value consistent with microbially driven anaerobic oxidation of methane-rich fluids occurring at or near the sediment–water interface. Authigenic carbonate U and Sr isotope data further support the inference of carbonate precipitation from seawater-derived fluids rather than from formation fluids from deep aquifers. Carbonate stable and radiocarbon (View the MathML sourceδC13 and View the MathML sourceΔC13) isotope values from living Bathymodiolus sp. specimens are lighter than those of seawater dissolved inorganic carbon, highlighting the influence of fossil carbon from methane on carbonate precipitation. U–Th dates on authigenic carbonates suggest seepage at Baltimore Canyon between 14.7±0.6 ka14.7±0.6 ka to 15.7±1.6 ka15.7±1.6 ka, and at the Norfolk seep field between 1.0±0.7 ka1.0±0.7 ka to 3.3±1.3 ka3.3±1.3 ka, providing constraint on the longevity of methane efflux at these sites. The age of the brecciated authigenic carbonates and the occurrence of pockmarks at the Baltimore Canyon upper slope could suggest a link between sediment delivery during Pleistocene sea-level lowstand, accumulation of pore fluid overpressure from sediment compaction, and release of overpressure through subsequent venting. Calculations show that the Baltimore Canyon site probably has not been within the gas hydrate stability zone (GHSZ) in the past 20 ka, meaning that in-situ release of methane from dissociating gas hydrate cannot be sustaining the seep. We cannot rule out updip migration of methane from dissociation of gas hydrate that occurs farther down the slope as a source of the venting at Baltimore Canyon, but consider that the history of rapid sediment accumulation and overpressure may play a more important role in methane emissions at this site.