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Research Projects



Leaving McMurdo.

VERTIGO - Ocean Particle Fluxes
"VERtical Transport in the Global Ocean" is a new research project that studies the fluxes and controls on the transport of sinking particles between the surface and deep ocean. An interdisciplinary international team has been assembled for field work off Hawaii and Japan in 2004 and 2005. Information can be found here about our neutrally buoyant sediment traps (NBST), student projects in the "Twilight Zone" and the project and proposal details on our VERTIGO web site.

Ocean Iron Fertilization
All plants need light and nutrients to grow, and marine plants, or plankton are no exception. Less obvious perhaps is that there are many ocean regions where low concentrations of iron can act as a limiting nutrient to plankton growth. Studies of the ocean iron cycle and its impact on marine carbon fluxes have been a focus of study by the Café Thorium in the SOIREE and SOFeX programs.

EDDIES - Sargasso Sea
"EDdy Dynamics, mIxing, Export, and Species composition" is the title of a new project looking at the impact of eddies, or the dynamic mixing of ocean waters in the upper ocean of the Sargasso Sea on the growth of marine plankton and their fate. On the EDDIES web site you can learn more about this multi-institution proposal which begins with field work in 2004.

Southern Ocean Carbon Cycle
Southern Ocean Carbon Cycle The Southern Ocean is defined as those waters south of 40 degrees south, representing 20% of the world's ocean area and truly a unique ocean setting. Ice sheets, massive spring melts, fascinating biology and a strong "biological pump" lead to important controls on the ocean carbon cycle and climate.

Groundwater Plutonium
Migration of plutonium and other radionuclides in groundwater is a major issue at several U.S.Department of Energy sites. We apply our methods developed to measure ultra low levels of plutonium and other manmade radionuclides in the oceans to groundwater systems where their association with dissolved or colloidal forms can be important in controlling migration from waste sites.

Black Sea/Chernobyl
Since the release of Chernobyl radioactivity in late April 1986, we have been tracking the fate of waters and particles that have been "tagged" by this localized source of manmade radionuclides. The Chernobyl reactor site is situated 1000 km north of the Black Sea. Radioactive materials from Chernobyl reached the Black Sea via direct fallout from the atmosphere and transport in the Dnieper River.

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