The Academy of Finland grants funding for the FERMAID project

The Academy of Finland has granted funding for the FERMAID project and Joonas Virtasalo, Senior Scientist at the Geological Survey of Finland (GTK).

Joonas Virtasalo, Senior Scientist at GTK, has been granted funding by the Academy of Finland for FERMAID – Ferromanganese Concretion-Archives of Ecosystem Variability, Climate Forcing and Anthropogenic Impact on the Baltic Sea.

Excess nutrient load, eutrophication and associated hypoxia, and global warming are placing increasing pressure on the Baltic Sea ecosystem. Efficient measures to improve the Baltic Sea’s state require reliable information on the long-term fluctuations in its status and the factors causing the changes.

The FERMAID project is the first study to concentrate on the effects climate change and human activities have had on the ecosystem of the Baltic Sea in the last 7,000 years. This is done by analysing the geochemical composition of ferromanganese concretions. Ferromanganese concretions are discoidal aggregates of iron and manganese oxides that are fairly common in the coastal seafloor.

The project aims to produce proxy data with an accuracy of 3–20 years with mass spectrometer microanalysis and microbiological analysis. The project also aims to determine the potential of dissolution of ferromanganese concretions in the predicted warming climate, intensifying eutrophication and hypoxia, and the consequent release of nutrients and metals to the sea.

The project’s international partners comprise GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Christian-Albrecht University of Kiel, ETH Zürich, University of Copenhagen, University of Helsinki, and the Finnish Environment Institute.

The four-year project will start on 1 September 2020 and the Academy of Finland granted EUR 538,691 in funding for it.

The Academy of Finland’s Research Council for Natural Sciences and Engineering granted funding for 78 academic projects that comprise a total of 102 sub-projects.

More information:

Senior Scientist Joonas Virtasalo, Geological Survey of Finland, joonas.virtasalo@gtk.fi, tel. +358 50 564 1434