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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Awardee:BERMUDA INSTITUTE OF OCEAN SCIENCES (BIOS) INC.
Doing Business As Name:Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS), Inc.
PD/PI:
  • Maureen Conte
  • (508) 289-7744
  • maureen.conte@bios.edu
Award Date:08/27/2015
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 1,711,459
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 1,711,459
  • FY 2015=$583,822
  • FY 2016=$1,127,637
Start Date:10/01/2015
End Date:09/30/2019
Transaction Type:Grant
Agency:NSF
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.050
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:Time Series Particle Flux Measurements in the Sargasso Sea
Federal Award ID Number:1536644
DUNS ID:875635161
Program:Chemical Oceanography
Program Officer:
  • Henrietta Edmonds
  • (703) 292-7427
  • hedmonds@nsf.gov

Awardee Location

Street:17 Biological Station
City:St. George's GE01
State:
ZIP:
County:
Country:BD
Awardee Cong. District:

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS), Inc.
Street:
City:
ZIP:
Country:BD

Abstract at Time of Award

Since 1978, the Oceanic Flux Program (OFP) has continuously measured particle movement, known as particle flux, from surface waters to the deep Sargasso Sea, revealing important information about changing ocean chemistry. It is the longest-running particle flux time series and is unique in its focus on the deep ocean. This award will continue funding this fundamental oceanographic time-series, lengthening the record of data and allowing for a better understanding of how the observed flux patterns relate to the interplay between climate and ocean functioning. Continued support of the time series will provide training and educational opportunities for young scientists from high school students through postdoctoral researchers, and results will tie into other time-series efforts in the Bermuda region. Understanding of ocean variability over interannual and decadal time-scales is of widespread interest and increasing relevance given the concerns over anthropogenic perturbations of global climate and ocean chemistry due to increases in greenhouse gases. Ocean ecosystems are now well-recognized to be affected by global and regional climate patterns such as ENSO and the North Atlantic Oscillation, and an imperative exists to model the ocean?s response to future climate scenarios. This requires a fundamental understanding of how the ocean and its biota naturally respond to climate and environmental forcing variables, and how these responses, in turn, affect ocean biogeochemical cycles. The OFP time-series has produced a unique unsurpassed record of temporal variability in the "biological pump", a term loosely applied to material transfer from the surface to the deep ocean. The record has documented interannual and longer variations in deep fluxes and shorter term fluctuations driven by the interactions between mesoscale physical variability, meteorological forcing and ecosystem responses. The OFP sample archives are an unparalleled resource for study of the biogeochemical consequences of changing ocean chemistry.

Publications Produced as a Result of this Research

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Salmon, K.H., P. Anand, P.F. Sexton, M. Conte "Upper ocean mixing controls the seasonality of planktonic foraminifer fluxes and associated strength of the carbonate pump in the oligotrophic North Atlantic" Biogeosciences, v.12, 2015, p.223.

Salmon, K.H., P. Anand, P.F. Sexton, M. Conte "Calcification and growth processes in plantonic foraminifera complicate the use of B/Ca and U/Ca as carbonate chemistry proxies" Earth Planetary Sci. Letts, v.449, 2016, p..

Conte, M. H., A. M. Carter, D. A. Koweek, S. Huang, J. C. Weber "The elemental composition of the deep particle flux in the Sargasso Sea" Chemical Geology, v.511, 2019, p.279. doi:https://doi.org/10/1016/j.chemgeo.2018.11.001 

Pedrosa-Pamies, R., M. H. Conte, J. C. Weber and R. Johnson "Carbon cycling in the Sargasso Sea water column: Insights from lipid biomarkers in suspended particles" Progr. Oceanography, v.168, 2018, p.. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pocean.2018.08.005 

Timko. S. A., Maydanov A., Pittelli S. L, Conte M. H., Cooper W. J., Koch B. P, Schmitt-Kopplin P., Gonsior M. "Depth-dependent Photodegradation of Marine Dissolved Organic Matter" Frontiers Mar. Sci., v.2, 2015, p.. doi:10.3389/fmars.2015.00066 

Pedrosa Pamies, R., M. H. Conte, J. C. Weber and R. Johnson "Particle cycling in the Sargasso Sea water column:insights from lipid biomarkers in suspended particles" Progress in Oceanography, v., 2018, p.. doi:doi: 10.1016/j.pocean.2018.08.005 

Pedrosa-Pamies R., M. H. Conte, J. C. Weber and R. Johnson "Hurricanes enhance labile carbon export to the deep ocean" Geophysical Research Letters, v.46, 2019, p.. doi:https://doi.org/ 10.1029/2019GL083719 

Salmon, K.H., P. Anand, P.F. Sexton, M. Conte "Calcification and growth processes in plantonic foraminifera complicate the use of B/Ca and U/Ca as carbonate chemistry proxies" Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v.449, 2016, p.372.

Salmon, K.H., P. Anand, P.F. Sexton, M. Conte "Calcification and growth processes in plantonic foraminifera complicate the use of B/Ca and U/Ca as carbonate chemistry proxies" Earth Planetary Sci. Letts., v.449, 2016, p.372.

Smart, S. M., H. Ren, S. E. Fawcett, R. Schiebel, M. H. Conte, P. A. Rafter, K. K. Ellis, M. A. Weig, D. M. Sigman and G. H. Haug "Ground-truthing the planktic foraminifer-bound nitrogen isotope paleoproxy in the Sargasso Sea" Geochimica Cosmochemica Acta, v., 2018, p.. doi:doi.org/10.1016/j.gca.2018.05.023 

Smart, S. M., H. Ren, S. E. Fawcett, R. Schiebel, M. H. Conte, P. A. Rafter, K. K. Ellis, M. A. Weig, D. M. Sigman, G. H. Haug "Ground-truthing the planktic foraminifer-bound nitrogen isotope paleoproxy in the Sargasso Sea" Geoch. Cosmochim Acta, v.235, 2018, p.. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gca.2018.05.023 


Project Outcomes Report

Disclaimer

This Project Outcomes Report for the General Public is displayed verbatim as submitted by the Principal Investigator (PI) for this award. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this Report are those of the PI and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation; NSF has not approved or endorsed its content.

This grant supported the Oceanic Flux Program (OFP) time-series of the ocean particle flux (sedimentation) in the deep Sargasso Sea. The OFP is the longest running deep ocean time-series of its kind and has been continuously supported by the NSF since 1978. The OFP reached a milestone in April 2018, celebrating its 40th year of continuous operation.

The ocean's particle flux is the primary food source for most life living beneath the surface sunlit zone of photosynthesis, and controls the ocean cycling of nutrients, elements and, in part, the uptake of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.  An overarching OFP objective is to better understand the fundamental processes that regulate generation of the particle flux and its recycling within the ocean interior.

In addition to core OFP mooring and sample processing activities, the grant supported detailed analyses of the elemental and organic composition of particle flux. These activities have provided fundamental new insights on particle flux generation and how ecosystems operating within the ocean interior modulate and modify the flux of particulate material from the overlying surface ocean. Additionally, results show that the mid North Atlantic gyre is a net sink for continental materials that are transported into the region by deep ocean currents, providing new information about the many connections beween the land and ocean environments. Results from detailed studies of the organic composition of suspended as well as sinking particles, together with upper ocean physical and biological data collected by the OFP and Bermuda Atlantic Time Series, provided the first direct evidence that hurricanes- by increasing nutrient upwelling to induce transient phytoplankton bloom/flux events- may increase the delivery of fresh, organic material to the deep ocean, a finding that has far-ranging implications for deep ecosystem functioning and elemental cycling.

In addition to grant funded research activities, the OFP contributed sample material and cruise opportunities to collaborating scientists in support of independently funded research and to graduate students in support of PhD and MS thesis research. The grant also funded undergraduate REUs and university interns who conducted summer research projects with the OFP. The OFP grants have also long provided meaningful employment to talented high school students who work as part-time lab assistants, providing them training in science skills that are essential for college success. Finally, OFP personnel were engaged in various outreach activities during the grant period, including science programs for local schools, science fairs, ship tours, etc. and the PI presented several well-attended public lectures.

 


Last Modified: 01/02/2020
Modified by: Maureen Conte

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