Biogeochemistry


The Rain of Ocean Particles and Earth’s Carbon Cycle

The Rain of Ocean Particles and Earth's Carbon Cycle

WHOI Phytoplankton photosynthesis has provided Earth’s inhabitants with oxygen since early life began. Without this process the atmosphere would consist of carbon dioxide (CO2) plus a small amount of nitrogen, the atmospheric pressure would be 60 times higher than the air we breathe, and the planet’s air temperatures would hover around 300°C. (Conditions similar to these are found on Earth’s close sibling Venus.

Read More

The Oceanic Flux Program

The Oceanic Flux Program

The predawn hours at sea have a unique feel—an eerie stillness, regardless of weather. This morning is no exception as the Bermuda Biological Station’s R/V Weatherbird II approaches the OFP (Oceanic Flux Program) sediment trap mooring some 75 kilometers southeast of Bermuda.

Read More

Catching the Rain: Sediment Trap Technology

Catching the Rain: Sediment Trap Technology

WHOI Senior Engineer Ken Doherty developed the first sediment trap in the late 1970s for what has come to be known as the WHOI PARFLUX (for “particle flux”) group. Working closely with the scientific community, Doherty has continued to improve sediment traps for two decades, and these WHOI-developed instruments are widely used both nationally and internationally in the particle flux research community.

Read More