Open ended cylinders and cones have been used for decades
to collect sinking particles in the ocean. These so-called
"sediment traps" are generally either fixed to the
bottom of the ocean on a mooring, or suspended from floating
tethers. We have recently developed and tested an improved
sediment trap that is designed around a neutrally buoyant
float. Since ocean particles sink slowly(10's-100's m/day)
relative to ocean currents (km/day) it becomes extremely difficult
to collect particles from a fixed or slowly moving platformsort
of like trying to use a rain gauge in a hurricane. The Neutrally
Buoyant Sediment Trap (NBST) drifts with the currents, thus
eliminating hydrodynamic effects which can lead to particle
sorting and flux biases. Our NBST opens up a new window to
study more accurately the rain of particles out of the upper
ocean, which is a key pathway that links the surface ocean
to deep waters.
Spotts, P.N., Voyage
to ocean's 'Twilight Zone', The Christian Science
Monitor, February 12, 2004.
Valdez, J.R., Buesseler, K.O. and Price, J.F., A
New Way to Catch the Rain (PDF). Oceanus Fall/Winter
Buesseler, K.O., Measuring
the "F" in JGOFS? A New Way to Catch the Rain (PDF).
U.S. JGOFS News 10,2 (1999).
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Selected Scientific Publications
Buesseler, K.O., Steinberg, D.K., Michaels, A.F., Johnson, R.J.,
Andrews, J.E., Valdes, J.R., and J.F. Price (2000). A
comparison of the quantity and quality of material caught in
a neutrally buoyant versus surface-tethered sediment trap (PDF).
Deep-Sea Res I, 47, 277-294.
Valdes, J.R, and J.F. Price (2000). A
Neutrally Buoyant, Upper Ocean Sediment Trap (PDF). Journal
of Atmospheric and Oceanographic Technology, 17(1), 62-68.
Stanley, R. H. R., K. O. Buesseler et al. (2002). Understanding
Upper Ocean Particle Flux: Neutrally Buoyant Sediment Traps
Versus Standard Surface-Tethered Traps (PDF). Submitted
to Deep-Sea Research.
Conferences Presentations and Posters
Upper Ocean Particle Flux: Neutrally Buoyant Sediment Traps Versus Standard Surface-Tethered Traps Poster showing detailed results from 2 NBST deployments at Bermuda (HTML)
Sediment Trap Technology and Sampling in Surface Waters (HTML)
readying a NSBT for deployment off the fantail of the
RV Weatherbird near Bermuda.
||Photo of newly designed NBST-II.