Synthesis & Modeling Project
Peter Verity

Dan Repeta
Leonard Pietrafesa

Budgets of biogenic elements in the NW Atlantic Ocean Margin:  A synthesis and modelling project

NSF OCE-9818804 06/99-05/02

PROJECT DESCRIPTION: To reduce major uncertainties in predicting future global environmental quality, it is imperative to understand the sources and sinks of atmospheric CO2, the role of anthropogenic activities in disrupting the natural carbon cycle, and the effects of, and feedbacks between, these activities and the natural carbon cycle.  Within the oceans, the ocean margin carbon cycle will be the most impacted.  The U.S. Department of Energy designed and implemented a field study called the Ocean Margins Program (OMP) to examine carbon cycling in the continental margin of the western North Atlantic Ocean.  The central objectives of the OMP are
  1. to quantify the processes and mechanisms that affect the cycling, flux, and storage of carbon and other biogenic elements at the land/ocean interface;
  2. to define ocean-margin sources and sinks in global biogeochemical cycles; and
  3. to determine whether ocean margins, including continental shelves, are quantitatively significant in removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and isolating it via burial in sediments or by export to the interior ocean, or elsewhere.
This field program resulted in the most extensive, multidisciplinary set of water column and seabed observations ever obtained over an ocean margin.  However, the DOE has terminated its marine research programs prior to the planned synthesis of the OMP.  In the absence of an integrated, funded, and organized data analysis, this $50M investment in ocean margin carbon fluxes will be lost, which would be especially unfortunate since a salient element missing in the presently funded JGOFS SMP is input from ocean margins and rivers (Synopsis of the U.S. JGOFS SMP PI meeting, Boulder, May 20-22, 1998).  Here, we propose to complete the original OMP objectives and facilitate the incorporation of the resulting database into the analyses of the various complementary JGOFS programs.  The OMP dataset specifically addresses all of the major SMP goals, complements the JGOFS oceanic databases, and thus is highly relevant to SMP programmatic goals.

Note:  Click here for annual updates of the Continental Margins Working Group.

DATA: Data from four programs (ACE, SEEP-I, SEEP-II and OMP) are available via the U.S. JGOFS data server (access the data).
Ocean Margins Program Home Page - a password is required but can be obtained by contacting the database manager.
PUBLICATIONS: - no publications listed -
RELATED PROJECTS: - no related projects listed -


Peter Verity
Skidaway Institute of Oceanography
10 Ocean Science Circle
Savannah, GA 31411
tel: (912) 598-2471
fax: (912) 598-2310

Daniel J. Repeta
Mail Stop 4
Woods Hole Oceanographic  Institution
Woods Hole, MA 02543
tel: (508) 289-2635

Leonard Pietrafesa
Marine Earth & Atmospheric Sciences
North Carolina State University
Box 8208
Raleigh, NC 27695-8208
tel: (919) 515-3717
fax: (919) 515-7802