Silicon-phosphorus model worksheet answers

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A schematic of the modelled silicon and phosphorus cycles.

The article provides answers to the questions posed in the silicon-phosphorus model worksheet.

Worksheet answers

  1. The model always returns to the same steady-state. When there is less PO4 then there is less burial of P, so levels recover. Likewise with silicon and opal burial. When there is excess silicic acid then burial increases until Si comes back down.
  2. Always converges although not always to the same steady-state.
  3. The model does not converge when: (1) M is increased, (2) μD is decreased, (3) μO is either increased or decreased.
  4. About 100,000 years.
  5. About 50,000 years.
  6. When deep silicic acid is doubled, after about 20 years the opal burial flux is 13 Tmol y-1. When it is halved, it is around 3.4 Tmol y-1 after about 20 years.

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