Working Group 116

Sediment Trap and Th-234 Methods for Particulate Organic Carbon Export in the Upper Ocean

Sediment Trap and 234-Th Methods for Carbon Export Flux Determination: Current Status

One of the primary goals of the Joint Global Ocean Flux Study (JGOFS) is to obtain a better understanding of the cycling of carbon and associated biogenic elements in the ocean. A major component of this study is the determination of the fluxes of biogenic matter through the ocean water column, especially from the base of the photic zone to ocean interior. This flux, termed as " export production" includes settling particulate matter of plant and animal origin and advective/diffusive transport of Dissolved Organic Matter (DOM) produced by the decomposition of organic matter in the photic zone. The removal of carbon from the photic zone, is at least partly replenished by drawdown of atmospheric CO2. Thus knowledge of export production and its variability is important to assess the role of oceans in sequestering atmospheric CO2. Further, at steady state, export production is expected to be the same as new production, a key parameter in marine biogeochemical cycling models. Thus the determination of export production of carbon and its relation to primary and new production has gained considerable importance in JGOFS type studies.


Working Group Members


May 2006 - "An assessment of C/Th ratios..." review manuscript from FATE conference co-authors in Marine Chemistry.

March 2007 - "An assessment of the use of sediment traps for estimating upper ocean particle fluxes" comprehensive report from SCOR Working Group #116 as accepted in Journal of Marine Research.

"Estimating upper ocean particle fluxes using sediment traps: Current status", submitted to EOS.

WG#116 Annual Report 2001

WG#116 Annual Report 2002

Background and Terms of Reference

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Support for SCOR Activities: SCOR receives funds from a large number of sources including national membership contributions, grants or contracts from the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), the U.S. Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA), International Council for Science (ICSU), the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), the Rockefeller Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO. In addition, the Joint Global Ocean Flux Study (JGOFS) International Project Office is supported directly by the Norwegian Research Council and the University of Bergen. The IPO for Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics (GLOBEC) is funded by the National Environmental Research Council (UK) and by the University of Plymouth. Coordinating Group (IOCCG) from NASA, IOC, and the National Space Development Agency of Japan, the Centre National des Etudes Spatiales (France), the European Space Agency and the Joint Research Centre of the European Union. The support of all these agencies and organizations is gratefully acknowledged.