Feifei Deng

Feifei Deng

Visiting Fellow

My primary research interest is directed towards understanding the ocean’s role in the climate system and its response to the changing climate from a chemical point of view.  In particular, I am interested in the marine geochemistry of U-series radioisotopes, and their uses as chemical tracers of fundamental ocean processes that serve as driving forces of climate change, such as dynamics of deep ocean circulation, variations in the marine particle flux, and dust input to the ocean. I approach my research interest mainly through the geochemical analysis of U-series radioisotopes in various marine materials, including seawater, particulates, and sediment.

Past and current research projects

  • Assessing the reliability of using 231Pa/230Th as a paleo-proxy for the rate of deep ocean circulation in the Southwest Atlantic Ocean (Netherlands-GEOTRACES section GA02, 2011)
  • Investigating the use of 230Th in the surface sediment as measurement of sediment dissolution at seafloor in the Cape Basin (UK-GEOTRACES section GA10, 2010)
  • Assessing the use of water-column 232Th-230Th as a tool to quantify dust input, and its importance as a supply of Fe to the open ocean with coupled water and aerosol measurements in the tropical (UK-GEOTRACES section GA06, 2011)
  • Closing the Atlantic budget of 231Pa and 230Th at 40oS (UK-GEOTRACES section GA10, 2011)
  • Testing the hypothesis of 231Pa/230Th as a paleo-proxy for the rate of deep ocean circulation in the high latitude North Atlantic where North Atlantic Deep Water is formed (France-GEOTRACES GA01, 2014)
  • Understanding the behaviour of 232Th, 230Th and 234Th in the estuarine system to constrain the use of 232Th as a tool to quantify the input of dust and its supply of Fe to the ocean ( Xiamen University-Pearl River Cruise 2017)

Apart from looking at ocean processes with isotopes as the major tool, I am also working to develop ion exchange chromatography to purify industrial samples with high Total Dissolved Solid (TDS) for the ICP-MS (Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry) measurement of Sr, B, and Li isotopes. The expected result will be to provide the industry with cost and time-effective solutions to apply isotope geochemistry to investigate environment-related issues during industrial production. (Shell-funded project)



Deng, F., Thomas, A.L., Rijkenberg, M.J.A., Henderson, G.M., 2014. Controls on seawater 231Pa, 230Th and 232Th concentrations along the flow paths of deep waters in the Southwest Atlantic. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 390, 93-102.

Hernández-Sánchez, M., LaRowe, D., Deng, F., Homoky, W., Browning, T., Martin, P., Mills, R., and Pancost, R., 2014. Further insights into how sediment redox status controls the preservation and composition of sedimentary biomarkers. Organic Geochemistry 76, 220-234.

Deng, F.*, Henderson, G., Thomas, A., Homoky, W.,  Mills, R., 2013. Assessing the dissolution of marine sediment with 230Th, and the impact of dissolution on sedimentary 231Pa/230Th. Mineralogical Magazine, 77(5) 973. Goldschmidt 2013 Conference, Florence, Italy.

Deng, F.*, Thomas, A., Henderson, G., Rijkenberg,  M., 2012. Controls on seawater 231Pa, 230Th and 232Th concentrations along the flow paths of major deep-water masses in the Southwest Atlantic. Mineralogical Magazine, 76(6) 1643. Goldschmidt 2012 Conference, Montreal, Canada.

Henderson, G.*, Deng, F., Scott, P., Thomas, A. L., Controls on 232Th, 230Th, and 231Pa in the South Atlantic: Assessing paleo-circulation and dust-flux proxies. Ocean Sciences Meeting 2014, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Henderson, G.*, Hsieh, Y-T., Bourne, M., Geibert, W., Deng, F., Thomas, A., 2012, Keynote: Uranium series rate meters for ocean processes. Mineralogical Magazine, 76(6) 1834. Goldschmidt 2012 Conference, Montreal, Canada.