Biogeochemistry


Chasing Ocean ‘Snowflakes’

Chasing Ocean ‘Snowflakes’

Scientists envision putting a flotilla of devices in the ocean to act as “eyes” that can track the “marine snow” that drifts down into the ocean.

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Biogeochemistry

What is Biogeochemistry? Biogeochemistry is a relatively new scientific discipline that explores the physical, chemical, biological, and geological processes and…

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Life at the Edge

What makes the shelf break front such a productive and diverse part of the Northwest Atlantic Ocean? A group of scientists on the research vessel Neil Armstrong spent two weeks at sea in 2018 as part of a three-year, NSF-funded project to find out.

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Mission to the Ocean Twilight Zone

Mission to the Ocean Twilight Zone

The twilight zone is a part of the ocean 660 to 3,300 feet below the surface, where little sunlight can reach. It is deep and dark and cold, and the pressures there are enormous. Despite these challenging conditions, the twilight zone teems with life that helps support the ocean’s food web and is intertwined with Earth’s climate. Some countries are gearing up to exploit twilight zone fisheries, with unknown impacts for marine ecosystems and global climate. Scientists and engineers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution are poised to explore and investigate this hidden frontier.

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What Happened to Deepwater Horizon Oil?

What Happened to Deepwater Horizon Oil?

Officials pumped a huge amount of chemicals into the deep ocean during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in an effort to disperse the oil. A study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences offers evidence that the dispersant may helped microbes break down the oil.

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Minerals Made by Microbes

Minerals Made by Microbes

Some minerals actually don’t form without a little help from microscopic organisms, using chemical processes that scientists are only beginning to reveal.

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A Mighty Mysterious Molecule

A Mighty Mysterious Molecule

What gives sea air its distinctive scent? A chemical compound called dimethylsulfide. In a new study, WHOI scientists show that the compound may also be used by marine microbes to communicate with one another.

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Earth’s Riverine Bloodstream

Earth's Riverine Bloodstream

Like blood in our arteries in our body, water in rivers carry chemical signals that can tell us a lot about how the entire Earth system operates.

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Where Iron and Water Mix

A new study by researchers from University of Washington (UW), Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), and the University of Southern California, demonstrates that chemical-laden plumes erupted from vents at one section of Mid Ocean Ridge in the SE Pacific can be traced all the way across the Pacific for more than 4000 kilometers.  Further, the study shows how the iron transported by this process is ultimately brought to the surface oceans of Antarctica where it is serves as a key life-sustaining micro-nutrient supporting up to 30 percent of all the organic carbon uptake in that ocean. 

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