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Sediment traps


Sediment trap samples, such as these recovered from a mooring off Cape Hatteras by the R/V Oceanus in October 2011, offer scientists a glimpse into the complex and often hidden world of continental shelf processes. The shelf is an area where particle fluxes are extremely high as lateral currents push sediments from the coastal ocean into the deep ocean, a process known as the "continental shelf pump." By analyzing the sediments that pass across this boundary, researchers hope to learn more about the important role of the continental shelf pump in the ocean carbon cycle, and the distribution of particles in deep sea sediments.

(Photo by Ellen Roosen, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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