• Dr. Burdige is an internationally-known expert in marine geochemistry, and he has spent much of his career studying biogeochemical processes in marine and estuarine sediments and their resulting effects on the cycling of carbon, nitrogen, and trace metals such as iron, manganese and copper. He has published more than 70 peer-reviewed papers, and in 2006 authored the book Geochemistry of Marine Sediments, published by Princeton Univ. Press. In addition to his research efforts he recently began teaching a course for non-science majors more specifically focused on understanding global climate change.
  • Selected Publications

    Articles In Academic Journals

    Year Title
    2018 Accumulation of deaminated peptides in anoxic sediments of Santa Barbara BasinGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. 245-258.
    2018 Carbon budget of tidal wetlands, estuaries, and shelf waters of eastern North AmericaGlobal Biogeochemical Cycles. 389-416.
    2018 Centers of organic carbon burial and oxidation at the land-ocean interfaceOrganic Geochemistry. 138-155.
    2017 Rare earth element behavior during groundwater–seawater mixing along the Kona Coast of HawaiiGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. 229-258.
    2016 A Tribute to Thomas M. Church: Exploring Chemical Oceanography in the Coastal Zone—The History and FutureAquatic Geochemistry. 271-274.
    2016 Benthic fluxes of dissolved organic carbon from gas hydrate sediments in the northern South China SeaScientific Reports.
    2016 Carbon cycling in Santa Barbara Basin sediments: A modeling studyJournal of Marine Research. 133-159.
    2016 Erratum: Corrigendum: Using rare earth elements to constrain particulate organic carbon flux in the East China SeaScientific Reports.
    2016 Featured L&O E-Lecture: An Introduction to Marine Sediments with an Emphasis on Sediment Organic Matter RemineralizationLimnology and Oceanography Bulletin.
    2016 Modeling studies of dissolved organic matter cycling in Santa Barbara Basin (CA, USA) sedimentsGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. 100-119.
    2016 Organic matter cycling across the sulfate-methane transition zone of the Santa Barbara Basin, California BorderlandGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. 259-278.
    2016 Recycling of Organic Matter in the Sediments of Santa Monica Basin, California BorderlandAquatic Geochemistry. 593-618.
    2016 Redox Effects on Organic Matter Storage in Coastal Sediments During the Holocene: A Biomarker/Proxy PerspectiveAnnual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences. 295-319.
    2015 Characterizing phosphorus speciation of Chesapeake Bay sediments using chemical extraction, 31P NMR, and X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopyEnvironmental Science & Technology. 203-211.
    2015 Organic matter remineralization predominates phosphorus cycling in the mid-bay sediments in the Chesapeake BayEnvironmental Science & Technology. 5887-5896.
    2015 Submarine groundwater discharge of rare earth elements to a tidally-mixed estuary in Southern Rhode IslandChemical Geology. 128-142.
    2015 The relative importance of methanogenesis in the decomposition of organic matter in northern peatlandsJournal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences. 2014JG002797.
    2013 Dissolved organic carbon dynamics in anaerobic sediments of the Santa Monica BasinGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. 253-273.
    2013 Surface production fuels deep heterotrophic respiration in northern peatlandsGlobal Biogeochemical Cycles. 1163-1174.
    2013 Using ammonium pore water profiles to assess stoichiometry of deep remineralization processes in methanogenic continental margin sedimentsGeochem. Geophys. Geosyst.. doi:10.1002/ggge.20117.
    2012 Partitioning peat respiration with stable carbon isotopesBiogeochemistry.
    2011 Anaerobic oxidation of methane and the stoichiometry of remineralization processes in continental margin sedimentsLimnol. Oceanogr.. 1781-1796.
    2011 Submarine groundwater discharge is an important net source of light and middle REEs to coastal waters of the Indian River Lagoon, Florida USA.Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta. 825-843.
    2011 The temperature dependence of organic matter remineralization in deeply buried marine sedimentsEarth Planet. Sci. Letters. 396-410.
    2010 Benthic ecology from space: optics and net primary production cross the Great Bahama Bank from seagrass and benthic algaeMar. Ecol. Prog. Ser.. 1-15.
    2010 The widespread occurrence of coupled carbonate dissolution/reprecipitation in surface sediments on the Bahamas BankAmer. J. Science. 492-521.
    2009 Early Neoproterozoic origin of the Metazoan phylum recorded in carbonate rock textureGeology. 475-478.
    2009 Early Neoproterozoic origin of the metazoan clade recorded in carbonate rock texture: REPLY (to a comment by N. Planavsky)Geology 2009. e196-196.
    2009 Optics and remote sensing of Bahamian carbonate sediment whitings and potential relationship to wind-driven Langmuir circulationBiogeosciences. 487-500.
    2009 Potential export of unattached benthic macroalgae to the deep sea through wind-driven Langmuir circulationGeophys. Res. Let..
    2009 Potential transport of unattached benthic macroalgae to the deep sea through wind-driven Langmuir circulationGeophys. Res. Let..
    2008 Radiocarbon evidence for the importance of surface vegetation on fermentation and methanogenesis in contrasting types of boreal peatlandsGlobal Biogeochem. Cycles. GB4022.
    2008 Rates of carbonate dissolution in permeable sediments estimated from pore-water profiles: the role of sea grassesLimnol. Oceanogr.. 549-565.
    2008 Shallow marine carbonate dissolution and early diagenesis – Implications from an incubation studyJ. Mar. Res.. 489-527.
    2007 Arsenic geochemistry of the Great Dismal Swamp, USA: Possible organic matter controlsAquat. Geochem.. 289-308.
    2007 Balancing the global neodymium budget: Evaluating the role of groundwaterEarth Planet Sci. Letters. 129-142.
    2007 Collagen-supported precipitation of authigenic aragonite during the natural degradation of a modern siliceous sponge, Great Bahama Bank, The BahamasJ. Sed. Res.. 552-563.
    2007 Enriched stable carbon isotopes in the pore waters of carbonate sediments dominated by seagrasses: evidence for coupled carbonate dissolution and reprecipitationGeochim. Cosmochim. Acta. 129-144.
    2007 The preservation of organic matter in marine sediments: Controls, mechanisms and an imbalance in sediment organic carbon budgets?Chem. Rev.. 467-485.
    2005 The burial of terrestrial organic carbon in marine sediments: A re-assessmentGlobal Biogeochem. Cycles.
    2005 The modern calcifying sponge Spheciospongia vesparium (Lamark, 1815), Great Bahama Bank: Implications for ancient sponge mud moundsSediment. Geol.. 89-98.
    2004 A direct instrument comparison for measurement of total dissolved nitrogen in seawaterMr. Chem.. 181-193.
    2004 Factors affecting dissolved organic matter dynamics in mixed-redox to anoxic coastal sedimentsGeochim. Cosmochim. Acta. 4099-4111.
    2004 Organic geochemistry of rare earth elements in blackwaters of the Great Dismal Swamp, Virginia, USAChem. Geol.. 271-294.
    2004 The cycling of fluorescent dissolved organic matter in contrasting marine sediments.Mar. Chem.. 289-311.
    2003 A time series of benthic flux measurements from Monterey Bay, CACont. Shelf. Res.. 457-481.
    2002 A preliminary methods comparison for measurement of dissolved organic nitrogen in seawater.Mar. Chem.. 171-187.
    2002 Impact of seagrass density on carbonate dissolution in Bahamian sedimentsLimnol. Oceanogr.. 1751-1763.
    2001 Dissolved organic matter in estuarine sediment pore watersOrg. Geochem.. 487-505.
    2000 Dissolved and particulate carbohydrates in contrasting marine sedimentsGeochim. Cosmochim. Acta. 1029-1041.
    2000 Pore water distributions of dissolved copper and copper-complexing ligands in estuarine sedimentsGeochim. Cosmochim. Acta. 1843-1857.
    1999 Fluxes of dissolved organic carbon from California continental margin sedimentsGeochim. Cosmochim. Acta. 1507-1515.
    1998 Geochemistry of barium in marine sediments: Potential influence of diagenesis on burialGeochim. Cosmochim. Acta. 3453-3473.
    1998 Molecular weight distribution of dissolved organic carbon in marine sediment pore watersMar. Chem.. 45-64.
    1998 The biogeochemical cycling of dissolved organic nitrogen in estuarine sedimentsLimnol. Oceanogr.. 1796-1813.
    1997 Fluxes of copper-complexing ligands from estuarine sedimentsLimnol. Oceanogr.. 992-996.
    1996 A coupled, non-linear steady-state model for early diagenetic processes in pelagic marine sedimentsAm. J. Sci.. 296-330.
    1996 Biogenic matter diagenesis on the seafloor: A comparison of two continental margin transectsJ. Mar. Res.. 731-762.
    1995 Aliphatic amines in Chesapeake Bay sedimentsMarine Chem.. 45-54.
    1995 Elimination of dissolved sulfide interference in the flow injection determination of ?CO2 by the addition of molybdateLimnol. Oceanogr.. 1011-1012.
    1994 Fluxes of dissolved organic carbon from Chesapeake Bay sediments.. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta. 3407-3424.
    1993 A comparison of NO and N2O production by autotrophic and heterotrophic nitrifiersAppl. Environ. Microbiol.. 3525-3533.
    1993 The biogeochemistry of manganese and iron reduction in marine sedimentsEarth-Sci Rev.. 249-284.
    1992 Effects of manganese oxide mineralogy on microbial and chemical manganese reductionGeomicrobiology J.. 29-50.
    1992 The role of benthic fluxes of dissolved organic carbon in oceanic and sedimentary carbon cyclingGeophys. Res. Letters. 1851-1854.
    1991 Microbial processes affecting alanine and glutamic acid in anoxic marine sedimentsFEMS Microbiol. Ecology. 211-231.
    1991 Nitrogen diagenesis in anoxic marine sediments: isotope effectsAnnu. Rep. Director Geophys. Lab., Carnegie Institution Washington. 154-162.
    1991 The kinetics of organic matter mineralization in anoxic marine sedimentsJ. Mar. Research. 727-761.
    1990 Biogeochemical cycling in an organic-rich marine basin. 11. The sedimentary cycling of dissolved, free amino acidsGeochim. Cosmochim. Acta. 3033-3052.
    1989 The effects of sediment slurrying on microbial processes, and the role of amino acids as substrates for sulfate reduction in anoxic, marine sedimentsBiogeochem.. 1-23.
    1988 Biogeochemical cycling in an organic-rich marine basin. 10. The role of amino acids in sedimentary carbon and nitrogen cyclingGeochim. Cosmochim. Acta. 1571-1584.
    1986 Chemical and microbiological studies of sulfide-mediated manganese reductionGeomicrobiology J..
    1985 Microbial manganese reduction by enrichment cultures from coastal marine sedimentsAppl. Environ. Microbiol.. 491-497.
    1984 Kinetics of microbial manganese binding and oxidationGeomicrobiology J.. 245-262.
    1983 A pore water/solid phase diagenetic model for manganese in marine sedimentsAm. J. Sci.. 29-47.
    1983 Determination of bacterial manganese oxidation rates in sediments using an in situ dialysis technique, I. Laboratory studiesGeochim. Cosmochim. Acta. 1907-1916.
    1983 Mechanism of addition of N-propylimidazole to tetraphenylporphinatoiron(III)chlorideInorg. Chim. Acta. L131-133.


    Year Title
    2006 Geochemistry of Marine Sediments.  Princeton Univ. Press..


    Year Title
    2015 Sediment pore watersBiogeochemistry of marine dissolved organic matter. Elsevier.
    2012 Estuarine and coastal sediments – coupled biogeochemical cyclingTreatise on Estuarine and Coastal Science. Academic Press.
    2012 Sediment-water exchangeReport of the U.S. East Coast Carbon Cycle Synthesis Workshop.
    2002 Sediment pore watersBiogeochemistry of marine dissolved organic matter. Academic Press.
    1983 An in situ method for determining microbial manganese oxidation rates in sedimentsBiomineralization and Biological Metal Accumulation.. D. Reidel Pub. Co.

    Research Overview

  • Biogeochemistry Aquatic chemistry Geochemistry of marine sediments Organic geochemistry Chemical oceanography Mathematical modeling of geochemical processes
  • Grants

  • Collaborative Research: Toward An Improved Understanding of Blue Carbon: The Role of Seegrasses In Sequestering Co2  awarded by National Science Foundation 2016 - 2019
  • Collaborative Research: Toward an Improved Understanding of Blue Carbon: The Role of Seagrasses in Sequestering CO  awarded by National Science Foundation 2016 - 2019
  • Collaborative Research: Toward an improved understanding of blue carbon: The role of seagrasses in sequestering CO2  awarded by NSF Biological Oceanography 2016 - 2019
  • Organic carbon oxidation and iron remobilization by West Antarctic shelf sediments  awarded by NSF (Antarctic Earth Science) 2015 - 2018
  • Collaborative Research: Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) transformations in deep sub-surface sediments and its role as a source of “old” DOC to the water column  awarded by NSF (Chem. Ocean.) 2012 - 2015
  • 2011 Chemical Oceanography Gordon Research Conference  awarded by NSF (Chemical Oceanography Program) 2011 - 2012
  • Collaborative Research: An Interdisciplinary Investigation of Groundwater-Carbon Coupling in Large Peat Basins and its Relation to Climate Change  awarded by NSF (Biocomplexity in the Environment: Carbon and Water in the Earth System) 2007 - 2012
  • ETBC Collaborative Research: The Role Of Submarine Groundwater Discharge In The Oceanic Nd Budget  awarded by NSF (Chemical Oceanography Program) 2008 - 2011
  • Collaborative Research: Tracing the Transformations of Organic Carbon in Marine Sediments Using Natural C Isotopes  awarded by NSF (Chemical Oceanography Program) 2007 - 2010
  • Collaborative Research: Carbonate Dissolution in Shallow Water Tropical Sediments: The Role of Seagrasses  awarded by NSF (Chem. Ocean. Program) 2002 - 2006
  • The Post-Cruise Analysis of Dissolved Carbohydrates in ODP Leg 201 Sediment Pore Waters  awarded by Ocean Drilling Program (Texas A&M Research Foundation) 2002 - 2005
  • Recent and Historical Environmental Changes in Lake Drummond, within the Great Dismal Swamp  awarded by Virginia Water Resources Research Center 2003 - 2004
  • Quantifying the Cycling of Toxic Metals and Metal-Complexing Ligands in a Major US Naval Harbor (Elizabeth River, VA)  awarded by Office of Naval Research (Environmental Quality Program) 2002 - 2004
  • Colored Dissolved Organic Matter in Sediments and Seagrass Beds and its Impact on Benthic Optical Properties - Data Analysis, Synthesis, and Student Support  awarded by ; Office of Naval Research (Environmental Optics Program) 2001 - 2003
  • Colored Dissolved Organic Matter in Sediments and Seagrass Beds and its Impact on Shallow Water Benthic Optical Properties  awarded by Office of Naval Research (Environmental Optics Program, CoBOP DRI) 1999 - 2001
  • Interactions Among Chemical Speciation, Algal Accumulation, and Sediment-Water Cycling of Toxic Metals in a Major US Naval Harbor (Elizabeth River, VA)  awarded by - Office of Naval Research (Harbor Processes Program) 1999 - 2001
  • Biological Transformations of Colored Dissolved Organic Matter  awarded by Office of Naval Research 1998 - 2000
  • Colored Dissolved Organic Matter in Sediments and Seagrass Beds and its Impact on Shallow Water Benthic Optical Properties  awarded by Office of Naval Research (Environmental Optics Program, CoBOP DRI ) 1996 - 1999
  • Metal Complexing Ligands and Metal Speciation in Sediment Pore Waters: Implications for Sediment/Water Exchange and Water Column Metal Speciation  awarded by Office of Naval Research (Harbor Processes Program) 1996 - 1998
  • Fluxes of Dissolved Organic Matter from Marine Sediments  awarded by NSF Chemical Oceanography Program 1993 - 1998
  • Effects of Speciation on Sediment-Water Exchange of Metals  awarded by Office of Naval Research (Marine Environmental Quality Program) 1993 - 1996
  • Coupled Non-Linear Models of Diagenetic Processes in Marine Sediments  awarded by Petroleum Research Fund of the ACS 1992 - 1994
  • Direct Measurements and Biogeochemical Controls of Sediment-Water Flux of Trace Metals from Estuarine Sediments  awarded by Chesapeake Bay Environmental Effects Committee 1992 - 1993
  • Fluxes of Dissolved Organic Matter from Marine Sediments  awarded by NSF Chemical Oceanography Program 1991 - 1993
  • Expertise Keywords

  • Geology : geochemistry
  • Oceanography : chemical oceanography
  • Education And Training

  • Ph.D. in Oceanography, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University Of California - San Diego 1983
  • B.A. in Honors, in Chemistry, Swarthmore College 1978
  • Full Name

  • David Burdige