Sea floor cycling of organic matter in the continental margin of the mid-Atlantic Bight. Final report, May 1, 1995--April 30, 1998 Page: 4 of 6
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The objective of this project was to examine quantitatively the cycling of organic matter at the sea
floor of the mid-Atlantic Bight continental margin. This information would be used to better
understand sedimentary geochemical processes and, when used in conjunction with other
measurements made within the DOE Ocean Margins Program, would be used to constrain the off-
shore and surface-to-deep water transport of organic carbon in this region. The latter information
is critical in assessing the role of continental margins in the sequestration of anthropogenic carbon
dioxide, the dominant greenhouse gas, in the deep ocean. Because the build-up of greenhouse
gases in the atmosphere may cause significant changes in climate, this project had major societal
To achieve the overall objective, in situ benthic flux chamber incubations were conducted on the
continental shelf, slope and rise in the Cape Hatteras region. Flux chamber measurements provide
a strategy to directly measure the rate at which solutes are directly exchanged across the sediment
- water interface. Because solute fluxes are directly linked to particle deposition rates and
subsequent degradation and remineralization reactions, such measurements provide quantitative
assessments of the particle flux to the sediments. These measurements are particularly critical in
topographically rugged regions, such as the North Carolina continental slope, where other
measurement strategies, such as the deployment of sediment traps, may not yield accurate results.
During the field campaign of the Ocean Margins Program, a series of benthic flux chamber
measurements were successfully completed along the North Carolina continental margin.
Because of the extremely rugged topography of the continental slope in this region, instruments
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Jahnke, R.A. Sea floor cycling of organic matter in the continental margin of the mid-Atlantic Bight. Final report, May 1, 1995--April 30, 1998, report, December 31, 1998; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc674435/m1/4/: accessed January 24, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.