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Sedimentation flux quantification in the water column

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  • The Porcupine Abyssal Plain (PAP) Observatory is a sustained, multidisciplinary observatory. Key time-series datasets include measurements of sea temperature, air temperature, air pressure, waves, wind, CO2, salinity, Megafauna (Species diversity, abundance and biomass), geochemistry, humidity, chlorophyll, nitrate, PAR and currents. The PAP observatory is situated in the Northeast Atlantic away from the continental slope and mid Atlantic ridge (49N,16.5W, depth 4800m). Since 1989, this environmental study site in the Northeast Atlantic has become a major focus for international and interdisciplinary scientific research and monitoring including water column biogeochemistry, physics and benthic biology. Since 2002, a mooring has been in place with sensors taking a diverse set of biogeochemical and physical measurements of the upper 1000m of the water column. Some of these data are transmitted in near real-time via satellite. A diverse range of Essential Climate variables are measured and sampled at the PAP site from the atmosphere and surface ocean to the seafloor. The instruments used include CTD + Backscatter; ADCP (2 way, re-programmable for water profiling as well as burst sampling), Seismometer (2 way, retrieval of selected time period - 1 Minute - in the past e.g. seismic event), Bottom Pressure Sensor, Sediment trap (2 way, re-programmable for change sampling interval), Boxcores, Mega- and Multicores, Optode, Digital Camera and Stand-alone hydrophone. Seafloor sampling includes trawling, coring, towed camera systems from a research ship and time-lapse photography. Since 2002 many of the upper ocean measurements (0-1000m) have been transmitted in near real-time. There is a growing need for ever more accurate climatic models to predict future climate change and the impact this will have on human settlement, the insurance industry, fisheries, agriculture and nature at large. Long term observations at fixed points in the open oceans are essential to provide high quality and high resolution data to increase our knowledge of how our oceans function, how they are changing and how this may impact on the climate. The observatory is coordinated by the National Oceanography Centre. In 2010, a collaboration between NERC and UK Met Office has led to the first atmospheric measurements at the site.

  • The data set comprises hydrographic, biogeochemical and biological data, including measurements of temperature, salinity and attenuance, plus concentrations of parameters such as nutrients, pigments, urea, hydrocarbons, sedimentation flux, sulphur and dissolved carbon. Analyses of bacterial, zooplankton and phytoplankton communities were also undertaken. The oceanographic data were supplemented by measurements of surface meteorological parameters. Data were collected across three repeated sections: one along the Gulf of Oman; a section at 67deg East from 8 to 14.5deg North; and a major section from 8deg North, 67 deg East to the coast of Oman. Other one-off sections were also traversed in the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman areas. Measurements were collected during two cruises: one between 27 August and the 4 October 1994 and the other between the 16 November and the 19 December 1994. Sections were covered by underway surface ocean measurements (one minute sampling of multiple parameters providing some 5 million measurements) complemented by a total of 21 CTD/water-bottle stations, 14 of which were repeated. ARABESQUE was organised by the Plymouth Marine Laboratory of NERC's Centre for Coastal and Marine Sciences and involved the University of Wales, Bangor; Queen's University of Belfast; University of East Anglia; University of Edinburgh; University of Newcastle; the Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Canada; the Max Planck Institute for Limnology, Germany and the Sultan Qaboos University, Oman. Data management support for the project was provided by the British Oceanographic Data Centre. All data collected as part of the project were lodged with BODC who had responsibility for assembling, calibrating, quality controlling and fully documenting the data. BODC checked for instrument spikes or malfunction, values beyond the calibration range, unreasonable ratios of chemical constituents and unreasonable deviations from climatological means. Data were assembled into a relational database, complete with supporting documentation and a user manual. The full data set has been published by BODC on CD-ROM complete with user interface.

  • The dataset includes physical and biogeochemical measurements of water properties, meteorological data and biogeochemical measurements of sediment parameters. Temperature, salinity, turbidity, oxygen, nutrients, dissolved organic carbon/total dissolved nitrogen (DOC/TDN), particulate organic carbon/particulate organic nitrogen (POC/PON), contaminants and pH were measured at most of the data collection sites, with additional biogeochemical measurements collected at various locations. Temperature, salinity and nutrients are available for virtually all data collection campaigns. The data were collected in a number of estuaries around the UK between 1993 and 1997. The Humber estuarine data set was collected during a series of 33 campaigns on the EA vessels Sea Vigil and Water Guardian in the Humber, Trent and Ouse systems at approximately monthly intervals between June 1993 and December 1996. The measurements were taken over two or three one-day cruises that covered the estuary from the tidal limits of both Trent and Ouse to Spurn Point. Instrumental and sample data are available from a series of fixed stations that were sampled during every campaign. The Tweed estuarine data set was collected during a series of 13 campaigns using RV Tamaris and a rigid inflatable vessel at approximately monthly intervals between July 1996 and July 1997. Data were collected throughout the tidal reaches of the River Tweed. The dataset forms part of the NERC Land Ocean Interaction Study project. Key investigators for this LOIS sub-project included Plymouth Marine Laboratory. The data are held in the British Oceanographic Data Centre project database.

  • This dataset includes physical, biological and biogeochemical measurements of both the water column and seabed sediments. Hydrographic data include temperature, salinity, attenuance, dissolved oxygen, fluorescence, photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), sound velocity and current velocities, while biogeochemical analyses of water samples provided measurements of nutrients and biological sampling provided measurements of zooplankton abundance. A large number of benthic parameters were measured, including concentrations of substances such as nutrients, metals and carbon in both sediments and sediment pore waters. Benthic fauna were also studied, while rates of sedimentation flux were quantified. These oceanographic and benthic data were supplemented by satellite ocean colour imagery. The data were collected in the North Atlantic Ocean at the Mouth of Rockall Trough, Hatton-Rockall Basin and the Flank of Feni Drift between August 1997 and June 1999 over four cruises, comprising a preliminary site assessment (CD 107 August, 1997) followed by two process cruises (CD 111, April-May 1998, and CD 113, June-July 1998). A further cruise (CH 143) was part-funded by BENBO to retrieve moorings. The data were collected using a variety of instrumentation, including shipboard deployment of conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD) profilers with attached auxiliary sensors, benthic samplers, landers, cameras and incubation chambers, water samplers and continuous underway sensors. These were supplemented by moored sensor and satellite data. The BENBO programme was led by the Scottish Association for Marine Science/Dunstaffnage Marine Laboratory involved researchers from Southampton Oceanography Centre, Scottish Universities Research and Reactor Centre, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Lancaster University, Leeds University, Edinburgh University, Cambridge University and the University of Wales, Bangor.

  • The data set includes hydrographic profiles (including temperature, salinity, attenuance, chlorophyll, oxygen, irradiance, turbulence, sound velocity and currents), hydrographic time series (temperature, currents, fluorescence, bottom pressure), water samples (>70 parameters measured), sediment samples (>160 parameters measured), sediment trap samples (>10 parameters measured), production experiments and marine snow camera profiles. Additional meteorological and wave records are also available, as well as satellite imagery and underwater photography (water column and seabed). The data were collected on the Hebridean Slope (NW of Ireland) between March 1995 and September 1996. Measurements were collected via a combination of shipboard instrument deployments, including >1,800 conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD) and SeaSoar (undulating oceanographic recorder) profiles, >100 expendable bathythermograph (XBT) profiles, >38,000 acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) profiles, >35 core profiles, >800 turbulence profiles, >40 marine snow camera profiles, >55 radiometer profiles and >25 sound velocity and travel time experiments. Benthic lander deployments were also undertaken, along with shipboard incubation experiments and drifting buoy deployments (48 tracks). An intensive water sampling programme provided >2,500 samples for biological and biogeochemical analysis. An extensive moored instrument array was maintained throughout the experiment, including sediment traps, recording current meters (104 series), electromagnetic current meters (9 series), ADCPs (16 series), thermistor chain and temperature probes (70 series), fluorometers (18 series), transmissometers (16 series), light meter (5 series), bottom pressure recorders (11 series), plus one waverider buoy series and three meteorological buoy time series. The Shelf Edge Study (SES) was an intensive multidisciplinary experiment and formed part of the NERC Land Ocean Interaction Study. The British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC) assembled over 95% of the data sets collected during SES into its project database system. Once basic quality control procedures had been completed the data set was published, complete with extensive data documentation, on CD-ROM.

  • The data set comprises a diverse collection of physical, chemical and biological measurements, encompassing over 1000 parameters. There are data from over 1650 conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD)/rosette stations, over 300 core profiles, over 370 sediment trap samples and much, much more. Most of this effort was directed at the region of the east Atlantic margin between La Chapelle Bank and the Goban Spur (between France and Ireland). In addition, there were two secondary areas of interest: the Norwegian Shelf Break just off Tromso and the Iberian Margin, either off Vigo or in the vicinity of the Tagus estuary. Measurements were collected from April 1993 until the end of December 1995 during 55 research cruise legs. Data were collected using a variety of equipment and techniques, including expendable bathythermography (XBTs), CTDs and oceanographic undulators with auxiliary sensors. These hydrographic profiles were accompanied by net hauls, plankton recorder deployments, sediment cores and comprehensive water and air sampling programmes during which a wide variety of chemical and biological parameters were measured. The station data were supplemented by underway measurements of oceanographic and meteorological properties. Results from production and trace metal experiments are also included in the dataset, as are bathymetric data from the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC) GEBCO digital Atlas, air-sea flux measurements and data from moored instruments and benthic landers that were deployed for periods from a few weeks to a year. The dataset also includes imagery from satellites, water column and seabed photography, scanning electron micrographs and X-ray photographs. FORTRAN source code for biogeochemical models developed during OMEX I is also included. The aim of the project was to study biogeochemical processes at the shelf break and to quantify the fluxes of material between the shelf and the open ocean. OMEX I involved scientists from 30 institutions in 10 countries. BODC is assembling the data sets collected during OMEX I into its database system and the data are also available on CD-ROM.