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Organic matter fluxes from sediment traps in the equatorial Atlantic Ocean

Nature volume 286, pages 798800 (21 August 1980) | Download Citation

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Abstract

The vertical flux of particulate organic matter to the ocean floor is controlled by complex remineralization and transport processes. Rapidly sinking, large (>32 µm) particles may account for most of the vertical mass flux1–3. Experiments involving collection of sedimenting particles in traps deployed at varying depths in the water column provide a way of assessing these processes directly2–12. Measurement of organic carbon content of trap material may lead to a general understanding of the flux of particulate organic matter to the sea floor3,8–10. However, details of the transport and transformation phenomena involving sinking particulate organic material can be elucidated only by determining distributions of specific organic compounds associated with the particles11,12. We report here direct flux measurements and composition of lipids obtained by organic geochemical studies of particulate material collected in a deep-sea moored sediment trap experiment in the equatorial Atlantic Ocean.

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Author information

Affiliations

  1. Department of Chemistry, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts 02543

    • Stuart G. Wakeham
    • , John W. Farrington
    • , Robert B. Gagosian
    • , Cindy Lee
    • , Hein DeBaar
    • , Gale E. Nigrelli
    • , Bruce W. Tripp
    • , Steven O. Smith
    •  & Nelson M. Frew

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https://doi.org/10.1038/286798a0

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