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Sediment trap

Trapping Carbon

WHOI marine chemist Ken Buesseler (foreground left) observes as research associate Steve Pike (center left) and a crewmember of the  U.K. research vessel RSS Discovery prepare to deploy a sediment trap into the Northeast Atlantic this past spring. The trap collects sinking particles that Buesseler analyzes for their chemical composition. Vast numbers of these tiny particles play a central role in the ocean’s “biological pump”—the process by which organic carbon moves from the surface to depth, helping to control levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide and global climate in the process. (Photo by Jennifer Kenyon, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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