Particulate carbon falls through the water column to the deep sea. It is comprised of dead phytoplankton cells, faecal matter from zooplankton and other substances. As it falls though the twilight zone (0-1000m) a lot of this carbon gets remineralized and only a small amount makes it to the deep sea. Meg is currently trying to measure the particulate carbon flux that gets exported into the deep sea by using and comparing two different methods. She is also going to compare her sediment trap data with the BATS data.
They are going to be using both neutrally buoyant sediment traps (NBSTs) and profiling floats. NBSTs operate like the BATS traps however instead of the sediment traps being attached to rope the NBSTs are free floating allowing them to drift with the ocean currents reducing hydrodynamic effects. They have four tubes which collect the falling particles.
|one of the NBSTs being deployed|
|Profiling float in the water|
|Close up of a sediment trap tube - the transmissometer is on the left!|
A big thank you to Meg for taking the time to talk to me about her project! Tomorrow we will be recovering the floats, NBSTs and BATS sediment traps – even more photos to come!
|Bye Bye NBST number three! See you soon!|