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VERTIGO - Ocean Particle Fluxes

VERtical Transport In the Global Ocean- aka VERTIGO- is currently one of our largest and most exciting projects. As its name implies, this study looks at how materials get from the surface to the deep ocean. In fact, there are really only two ways to get there- either with ocean currents that sink to the deep ocean, but that takes place only in a few regions near the Arctic and Antarctic, or hitching a ride on sinking particles, and it’s the sinking particle story that VERTIGO is all about.

How do marine plants and animals create and destroy particles in the ocean? How quickly do particles sink? How deep do they go? Are all marine particles the same? And what is the marine “snow” forecast? Many basic questions such as these will be addressed by this international and interdisciplinary team of ocean scientists. To help you learn more, we’ve divided this information into a few parts, both for those with a general interest and parts for project scientists.

VERTIGO Project Web site
This part of our Web site is designed for VERTIGO project scientists as a quick place to exchange information regularly about our cruises, new data, who’s doing what, what talks and papers are coming out, etc. So, only go here if you are a) a project PI (principal investigator), b) want to read a copy of the original proposal to the U.S. National Science Foundation and Department of Energy who funded VERTIGO or c) just too curious about what scientists really spend their time doing.

 

 

 

 

Revisiting Carbon Flux Through the Ocean's Twilight Zone published in Science - April 2007

Press Releases:
WHOI: Ocean's ‘Twilight Zone' Plays Important Role in Climate Change
New study identifies a critical link influencing the ocean's ability to store carbon dioxide

NSF: Ocean's "Twilight Zone" May Be a Key to Understanding Climate Change

University of California, Santa Barbara: Ocean Varies in Ability to Sequester Atmospheric Carbon, Scientists Report

University of California, Santa Cruz: The "Twilight Zone" Holds Key to Ocean's Role in Climate Change

University of Hawaii: Ocean's ‘Twilight Zone' Plays Important Role in Climate Change
New study identifies a critical link influencing the ocean's ability to store carbon dioxide

VIMS: Ocean's 'Twilight Zone' Has Climate-Change Role

Radio interview with Ken Buesseler by Jason Margolis on The World, May 4, 2007

Radio Interview with Phil Boyd and Ken Buesseler by Dacia Herbulock on Our Changing World on Radio New Zealand, May 3, 2007

Voice of America report by Rosanne Skirble with interview with Ken Buesseler, May 3, 2007

"Recruiting plankton to fight global warming" New York Times, May 3, 2007

"Nature's carbon sink smaller than expected" Christian Science Monitor, May 3, 2007

"Ocean gobbles carbon at different rates" New Scientist, April 26, 2007

"Picture If You Will an Oceanic 'Twilight Zone' of Microscopic Creatures Hindering Carbon Sequestration " Scientific American, April 26, 2007

 

VERTIGO Cruises
A series of three cruises in 2004 and 2005 of Hawaii and Japan have been part of VERTIGO. Click here to learn more.

VERTIGO Manuscripts - In preparation, submitted and published

VERTIGO Data 
VERTIGO data are now freely available on line at the Woods Hole BCO-DMO Data Management Office.

Students & the "Twilight Zone"
The “Twilight Zone” is not just a TV show, but the region of the ocean between the surface sunlit depths, and the completely dark deep waters. Learn something about this layer and student research opportunities.






Click on these images and others by Mary Silver at UC, Santa Cruz, to enlarge.

Click for image information.

A Journey to the Ocean's Twilight Zone (pdf)
A conversation with marine biogeochemist Ken Buesseler: A torrent of particles rains down through the ocean's dimly lit regions, providing food for organisms below and sequestering some heat-trapping carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. A WHOI biogeochemist investigates what makes it into the ocean's twilight zone and what makes it out.

Swimming in the Rain (pdf)
Novel untethered vehicle catches 'marine snow' falling through the sea: At first, critics said it shouldn't be done. Then they wondered whether it could be done. Finally, WHOI scientists and engineers built an innovative device to capture a fundamental but still mysterious ocean phenomenon.

 

Swimming in the Rain (pdf)
Novel untethered vehicle catches 'marine snow' falling through the sea: At first, critics said it shouldn't be done. Then they wondered whether it could be done. Finally, WHOI scientists and engineers built an innovative device to capture a fundamental but still mysterious ocean phenomenon.

DSR II volume in progress- Understanding the Ocean's Biological Pump

VERTIGO Final Principal Investigator Meeting, October 1-4, 2006

VERTIGO abstracts, posters and presentations for 2006 Ocean Sciences meeting

NBST’s a success
Collecting sinking marine particles is part science, part engineering, part good luck. Learn about a new gizmo called the Neutrally Buoyant Sediment Trap (NBST) and how we can send a particle collector in to the ocean depths on a 3 day mission to collect sinking marine particles. General information as well as more detailed science results, presentations and publications is provided here.

U.S. National Science Foundation

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the U.S. National Science Foundation.

Last updated June 3, 2009

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