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VERTIGO - Neutrally Buoyant Sediment Traps a Success!

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» Overview

» General Information

» Selected Scientific Publications

» Conference Presentations and Posters

» Photo Gallery

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 platform—sort 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.

General Information
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 1997.

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.

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Conferences Presentations and Posters
2002 Ocean Sciences PowerPoint Presentation
Understanding Upper Ocean Particle Flux: Neutrally Buoyant Sediment Traps Versus Standard Surface-Tethered Traps Poster showing detailed results from 2 NBST deployments at Bermuda (HTML)

Report on the JGOFS Symposium in Villefranche sur Mer in May, 1995 (edited by Wilford D. Gardner)
Sediment Trap Technology and Sampling in Surface Waters (HTML)

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Photo Gallery

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Scientists readying a NSBT for deployment off the fantail of the RV Weatherbird near Bermuda. Photo of newly designed NBST-II.

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