Dr. Arne-R. Diercks

Assistant Research Professor

Research:  Dr. Diercks' research focuses on the investigation of marine particle dynamics, including their formation, abundance, settling characteristics, distribution and eventual fate.  He uses digital imaging technologies and computerized sensors to collect the data needed to explore the particle transport from the shelf to the deep sea. Examples include the MAGENUM (Marine AGgregate ENUMerator) which investigates the abundance of larger aggregates throughout the water column, the MASCOT (Marine Aggregate Setting Collector and Observation Tube) which investigates the flux and sinking speed of aggregates using a moored sediment trap/camera combination.

AUVs: He has managed the operation of USM’s deep Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) for 7 years and explored deep sea habitats in the Hudson Canyon and the northern Gulf of Mexico. He is supporting Dr. Howden’s High Frequency Radar operations collecting surface current data from the MS Bight to the Florida Panhandle.

ECOGIG-II:  Dr. Diercks is a Principal Investigator of the ECOGIG-II (Ecosystem Impacts of Oil and Gas Inputs to the Gulf) consortium to study the effects of the 2010 DWH oil spill on the environment. ECOGIG-II is one of several research consortia awarded grants by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI).  The ECOGIG consortium brings together physical oceanographers, marine biologists, and biogeochemists from 15 research institutions in a holistic effort to understand the fate and impacts oil and gas on deepwater ecosystems in the Gulf, and to chart the long-term effects and mechanisms of ecosystem recovery. In ECOGIG Dr. Diercks' group provided AUV based high resolution multi-beam echo sounder maps and photo mosaics of specific areas of interest of the main study sites of the consortium. In ECOGIG-II he is studying, together with Dr. Asper (USM) and Dr. Passow (UCSB), the fate of Marine Oil Snow Sedimentation and Flocculent Accumulation (MOSSFA) and the effects of re-suspension on the redistribution of the Marine Oil Snow (MOS).

Resuspension, Redistribution and Deposition of DwH Recalcitrant Hydrocarbons to offshore Depocenters. Dr Diercks is the lead PI in the GOMRI funded RFP-VI project to study the fate of the sediments deposited immedeately after the DwH accident. Together with Dr. Brooks (Eckerd College), Dr. Chanton (FSU) and Dr. Romero (USF) he is investigating their main hypothesis, that recalcitrant compounds from the deposited oil still remain on the seafloor ~8 years after the DwH spill. However, the spatial distribution and concentration do not correspond with the distribution of the surface oil slick or the subsurface plume due to seafloor morphology, deep currents, hydrodynamic effects, resuspension and redistribution following the initial deposition on the seafloor.

Click here for Dr. Diercks' full CV. 

Selected Publications

Diercks, A.-R., Ziervogel, K., Sibert, R., Joye, S.B., Asper, V. and Montoya, J.P., 2019. Vertical marine snow distribution in the stratified, hypersaline, and anoxic Orca Basin (Gulf of Mexico). Elem Sci Anth, 7(1), p.10. DOI:http://doi.org/10.1525/elementa.348

Diercks, A.-R., L. Macelloni, M. D’Emidio, S. Locker, A. Woolsey, M. Woolsey. High-Resolution seismo-acoustic characterization of Green Canyon 600, a perennial Hydrocarbon Seep in the deep-water Gulf of Mexico. Mar. Geophys. Res. (2018). 10.1007/s11001-018-9374-3

Chanton J.P., S. Giering, S. Bosman, K. Rogers, J. Sweet, V. Asper, A.-R. Diercks, U. Passow. Isotopic Composition of Sinking Particles: Oil Effects, Recovery and Baselines in the Gulf of Mexico, 2010-2015. Elem Sci Anth. 2018; 6(1):43. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1525/elementa.298

Diercks, A.-R., C. Dike, V.L. Asper, S.F. DiMarco, J.P. Chanton, U. Passow. (2018). Scales of seafloor sediment resuspension in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Elem Sci Anth. 2018; 6(1):32. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1525/elementa.285

Giering, S.L.C., B. Yan, J. Sweet, V. Asper, A.-R. Diercks, J. Chanton, M. Pitiranggon, U. Passow. The ecosystem baseline for particle flux in the Northern Gulf of Mexico. Elem Sci Anth. (2018), 6(1):6. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1525/elementa.264

Romero I.C., G. Toro-Farmer, A.-R. Diercks, P. Schwing, F. Muller-Karger, S. Murawski, D.J. Hollander. (2017). Large-scale deposition of weathered oil in the Gulf of Mexico following a deep-water oil spill. Environmental Pollution 228:179-189

Yan, B., U. Passow, J.P. Chanton, E.-M. Nöthig, V. Asper, J. Sweet, M. Pitiranggon, A. Diercks, D. Pak; Sustained deposition of contaminants from the Deepwater Horizon spill (2016). PNAS, June 14, 2016, vol. 113, no. 24E3332-E3340   http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1513156113

Conti, A.; M. D’Emidio, L. Macelloni, C. Lutken, V. Asper, M. Woolsey, R. Jarnagin, A.-R. Diercks, and R.C. Highsmith (2016). Morpho-acoustic characterization of natural seepage features at ECOGIG OC26 site. Deep-Sea Res. II http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr2.2015.11.011

Ziervogel K., Dike C., Asper V., Montoya J., Battles J., D'souza N., Passow U., Diercks A.-R., Esch M., Joye S., Dewald C., Arnosti C. (2015). Enhanced particle fluxes and heterotrophic bacterial activities in Gulf of Mexico bottom waters following storm-induced sediment resuspension. Deep-Sea Res. II, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr2.2015.06.017

Pierdomenico, M.; Guida, V.G.; Macelloni, L.; Chiocci, F.L.; Rona, P.A.; Scranton, M.I.; Asper, V.; Diercks, A.-R. (2015). Sedimentary facies, geomorphic features and habitat distribution at the Hudson Canyon head from AUV multibeam data Deep-Sea Res. II, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr2.2015.04.016

Rona, R.; V. Guida, M. Scranton, D. Gong, L. Macelloni, M. Pierdomenico, A.-R. Diercks, V. Asper, S. Haag, (2014). Hudson Submarine Canyon Head Offshore New York and New Jersey: A Physical and Geochemical Investigation of a Fertile Habitat. Deep-Sea Res. II, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr2.2015.07.019

Chanton, J.; T.  Zhao, B. Rosenheim, S. Joye, S. Bosman, C. Brunner, K. Yeager, A.-R. Diercks, D. Hollander (2014). Using natural abundance radiocarbon to trace the flux of petrocarbon to the seafloor following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Environ. Sci. Technol., http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/es5046524

Crespo-Medina, M., C.D. Meile, K.S. Hunter, A.-R. Diercks, V. Asper, J.P. Chanton, V.J.  Orphan, P.L. Tavormina, L.M. Nigro, J.J. Battles, A.M Shiller, D.J. Joung, R.M.W. Amon, A.-L. Bracco, J.P. Montoya, T. Villareal, M. Wood, and S.B. Joye (2014). The rise and fall of methanotrophy following a deepwater oil-well blowout. Nature Geoscience; http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ngeo2156

Passow, U.; Ziervogel, K., Asper, V.L. and Diercks, A.-R. (2012). Marine snow formation in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico Environ. Res. Lett. 7, 035301, http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/7/3/035301

Wade, T. L., Sweet S.T., Sericano, J.L., Guinasso, Jr , N.L., Diercks, A-R., Highsmith, R.C., Asper, V.L., Joung, D., Shiller, A.M., Joye, S.B.,  and Lohrenz, S.E.; Analyses of Water Samples from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: Documentation of the Sub-Surface Plume. In: Liu, Y., A. MacFadyen, Z.-G. Ji, and R. H. Weisberg (Eds.) (2011), Monitoring and Modeling the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: A Record-Breaking Enterprise, Geophys. Monogr. Ser., vol. 195, 271 pp., AGU, Washington, D. C., http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/GM195.

Diercks, A.-R., R. C. Highsmith, V. L. Asper, D. Joung, Z. Zhou, L. Guo, A. M. Shiller, S. B. Joye, A. P. Teske, N. L. Guinasso Jr., T. L. Wade, and S. E. Lohrenz (2010). Characterization of subsurface polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons at the Deepwater Horizon site; Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L20602, http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2010GL045046.

Diercks, A.-R.; Asper, V.L (1997). In situ Settling Speeds of Marine Snow Aggregates below the Mixed Layer: Black Sea and Gulf of Mexico. Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers, 44(3), 385-398.

Kempe, S.; Diercks, A.-R.; Prange, A; Liebezeit, G., (1991), Geochemical and Structural Aspects of the Pycnocline in the Black Sea (R/V KNORR 134-8 Leg 1, 1988). In: Black Sea Oceanography (eds. J.D. Murray, E. Izdar), NATO ASI Series C:  Mathematical and Physical Sciences - Vol. 351, 89-110