VERTIGO (VERtical Transport In the Global Ocean): A study of particle sources and flux attenuation in the North Pacific

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The VERtical Transport In the Global Ocean (VERTIGO) study examined particle sources and fluxes through the ocean's 'twilight zone' (defined here as depths below the euphotic zone to 1000 m). Interdisciplinary process studies were conducted at contrasting sites off Hawaii (ALOHA) and in the NW Pacific (K2) during 3 week occupations in 2004 and 2005, respectively. We examine in this overview paper the contrasting physical, chemical and biological settings and how these conditions impact the source characteristics of the sinking material and the transport efficiency through the twilight zone. A major finding in VERTIGO is the considerably lower transfer efficiency ... continued below

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Buesseler, K.O.; Trull, T.W.; Steinberg, D.K.; Silver, M.W.; Siegel, D.A.; Saitoh, S.-I. et al. June 10, 2008.

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The VERtical Transport In the Global Ocean (VERTIGO) study examined particle sources and fluxes through the ocean's 'twilight zone' (defined here as depths below the euphotic zone to 1000 m). Interdisciplinary process studies were conducted at contrasting sites off Hawaii (ALOHA) and in the NW Pacific (K2) during 3 week occupations in 2004 and 2005, respectively. We examine in this overview paper the contrasting physical, chemical and biological settings and how these conditions impact the source characteristics of the sinking material and the transport efficiency through the twilight zone. A major finding in VERTIGO is the considerably lower transfer efficiency (T{sub eff}) of particulate organic carbon (POC), POC flux 500/150 m, at ALOHA (20%) vs. K2 (50%). This efficiency is higher in the diatom-dominated setting at K2 where silica-rich particles dominate the flux at the end of a diatom bloom, and where zooplankton and their pellets are larger. At K2, the drawdown of macronutrients is used to assess export and suggests that shallow remineralization above our 150 m trap is significant, especially for N relative to Si. We explore here also surface export ratios (POC flux/primary production) and possible reasons why this ratio is higher at K2, especially during the first trap deployment. When we compare the 500 m fluxes to deep moored traps, both sites lose about half of the sinking POC by >4000 m, but this comparison is limited in that fluxes at depth may have both a local and distant component. Certainly, the greatest difference in particle flux attenuation is in the mesopelagic, and we highlight other VERTIGO papers that provide a more detailed examination of the particle sources, flux and processes that attenuate the flux of sinking particles. Ultimately, we contend that at least three types of processes need to be considered: heterotrophic degradation of sinking particles, zooplankton migration and surface feeding, and lateral sources of suspended and sinking materials. We have evidence that all of these processes impacted the net attenuation of particle flux vs. depth measured in VERTIGO and would therefore need to be considered and quantified in order to understand the magnitude and efficiency of the ocean's biological pump.

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  • Journal Name: Deep-Sea Research II; Journal Volume: 55; Related Information: Journal Publication Date: 2008

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  • Report No.: LBNL-953E
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-05CH11231
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.dsr2.2008.04.024 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 937502
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc898605

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  • June 10, 2008

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  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Sept. 29, 2017, 6 p.m.

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Buesseler, K.O.; Trull, T.W.; Steinberg, D.K.; Silver, M.W.; Siegel, D.A.; Saitoh, S.-I. et al. VERTIGO (VERtical Transport In the Global Ocean): A study of particle sources and flux attenuation in the North Pacific, article, June 10, 2008; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc898605/: accessed December 14, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.