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COI Funded Project: Evaluating the Flux Footprint for Measurements of Carbon Dioxide Exchange over the Coastal Ocean

Project Funded: 2002

Proposed Research

The exchange of CO2 between the coastal ocean and the atmosphere is an integral part of the coastal carbon cycle. The dynamic physical and biological processes in the coastal ocean lead to spatial and temporal variability in gas concentrations. With our continuing success in developing gas exchange methods, we must now begin to refine our measurements of the processes occurring in the water while we make our measurements. The fluxes we measure represent the integral of the various surface and boundary layer processes occurring upwind of our measurement point. That area upwind that has most influenced the air we are measuring is called the flux footprint. Further refinement of our gas exchange models requires that we locate the flux footprint and focus on the physical and chemical properties of the surface water there. As a first step in that direction, we propose in this project to empirically test a new model for defining the flux footprint. We will bring together six scientists from three institutions to conduct tracer addition experiments at the Martha's Vineyard Coastal Observatory.

Originally published: January 25, 2002