Omand Melissa M.

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Melissa M.

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  • Article
    Autonomous instruments significantly expand ocean observing : an introduction to the special issue on autonomous and Lagrangian platforms and sensors (ALPS).
    (Oceanography Society, 2017-06) Lee, Craig M. ; Paluszkiewicz, Theresa ; Rudnick, Daniel L. ; Omand, Melissa M. ; Todd, Robert E.
    Oceanography relies heavily on observations to fuel new ideas and drive advances, creating a strong coupling between the science and the technological developments that enable new measurements. Novel observations, such as those that resolve new properties or scales, often lead to advances in understanding. Physical, biological, and chemical processes unfold over a broad range of scales—seconds to decades and millimeters to ocean basins—with critical interactions between scales. Observational studies work within a tradespace that balances spatial and temporal resolution, scope, and resource constraints. New platforms and sensors, along with the novel observational approaches they enable, address this challenge by providing access to an expanding range of temporal and spatial scales.
  • Article
    Penetrative radiative flux in the Bay of Bengal
    (The Oceanography Society, 2016-06) Lotliker, Aneesh ; Omand, Melissa M. ; Lucas, Andrew J. ; Laney, Samuel R. ; Mahadevan, Amala ; Ravichandran, M.
    The Bay of Bengal (BoB), a semi-enclosed basin in the northern Indian Ocean, is a complex region with large freshwater inputs and strong vertical stratification that result in a shallow, spatially variable mixed layer. With the exception of shortwave insolation, the air-sea heat exchange occurs at the sea surface and is vertically redistributed by mixing and advection. Strongly stratified, shallow mixed layers inhibit vertical mixing, and the penetration of solar radiation through the base of the mixed layer can lead to redistribution of upper-ocean heat. This paper compiles observations of hyperspectral downwelling irradiance (Ed) from 67 profiles collected during six research cruises in the BoB that span a broad range of regions and seasons between 2009 and 2014. We report attenuation length scales computed using double and single exponential models and quantify the penetration of radiative flux below the mixed layer depth (Qpen). We then evaluate estimates of Qpen obtained from published chlorophyll-based models and compare them to our observations. We find that the largest penetrative heat flux (up to 40% of the incident Ed) occurs near 16°N where the mixed layers are shallow and the water is optically clear.
  • Article
    Adrift upon a salinity-stratified sea : a view of upper-ocean processes in the Bay of Bengal during the southwest monsoon
    (The Oceanography Society, 2016-06) Lucas, Andrew J. ; Nash, Jonathan D. ; Pinkel, Robert ; MacKinnon, Jennifer A. ; Tandon, Amit ; Mahadevan, Amala ; Omand, Melissa M. ; Freilich, Mara ; Sengupta, Debasis ; Ravichandran, M. ; Le Boyer, Arnaud
    The structure and variability of upper-ocean properties in the Bay of Bengal (BoB) modulate air-sea interactions, which profoundly influence the pattern and intensity of monsoonal precipitation across the Indian subcontinent. In turn, the bay receives a massive amount of freshwater through river input at its boundaries and from heavy local rainfall, leading to a salinity-stratified surface ocean and shallow mixed layers. Small-scale oceanographic processes that drive variability in near-surface BoB waters complicate the tight coupling between ocean and atmosphere implicit in this seasonal feedback. Unraveling these ocean dynamics and their impact on air-sea interactions is critical to improving the forecasting of intraseasonal variability in the southwest monsoon. To that end, we deployed a wave-powered, rapidly profiling system capable of measuring the structure and variability of the upper 100 m of the BoB. The evolution of upper-ocean structure along the trajectory of the instrument’s roughly two-week drift, along with direct estimates of vertical fluxes of salt and heat, permit assessment of the contributions of various phenomena to temporal and spatial variability in the surface mixed layer depth. Further, these observations suggest that the particular “barrier-layer” stratification found in the BoB may decrease the influence of the wind on mixing processes in the interior, thus isolating the upper ocean from the interior below, and tightening its coupling to the atmosphere above.
  • Article
    The shape of the oceanic nitracline
    (Copernicus Publications on behalf of the European Geosciences Union, 2015-06-03) Omand, Melissa M. ; Mahadevan, Amala
    In most regions of the ocean, nitrate is depleted near the surface by phytoplankton consumption and increases with depth, exhibiting a strong vertical gradient in the pycnocline (here referred to as the nitracline). The vertical supply of nutrients to the surface euphotic zone is influenced by the vertical gradient (slope) of the nitracline and by the vertical separation (depth) of the nitracline from the sunlit surface layer. Hence it is important to understand the shape (slope and curvature) and depth of the oceanic nitracline. By using density coordinates to analyze nitrate profiles from autonomous Autonomous Profiling EXplorer floats with In-Situ Ultraviolet Spectrophotometers (APEX-ISUS) and ship-based platforms (World Ocean Atlas – WOA09; Hawaii Ocean Time-series – HOT; Bermuda Atlantic Time-series Study – BATS; and California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations – CalCOFI), we are able to eliminate much of the spatial and temporal variability in the profiles and derive robust relationships between nitrate and density. This allows us to characterize the depth, slope and curvature of the nitracline in different regions of the world's oceans. The analysis reveals distinguishing patterns in the nitracline between subtropical gyres, upwelling regions and subpolar gyres. We propose a one-dimensional, mechanistic model that relates the shape of the nitracline to the relative depths of the surface mixed layer and euphotic layer. Though heuristic, the model accounts for some of the seasonal patterns and regional differences in the nitrate–density relationships seen in the data.
  • Dataset
    Images and associated metadata of individually classified particles imaged and quantified in sediment trap gel layers collected on four research cruises conducted between 2015 and 2018
    (Biological and Chemical Oceanography Data Management Office (BCO-DMO). Contact:, 2021-09-15) Durkin, Colleen ; Estapa, Margaret L. ; Omand, Melissa
    This dataset includes Images and associated metadata of individually classified particles imaged and quantified in sediment trap gel layers collected on four research cruises conducted between 2015 and 2018 (EN572, EN581, FK170124, and RR1813). For a complete list of measurements, refer to the full dataset description in the supplemental file 'Dataset_description.pdf'. The most current version of this dataset is available at:
  • Dataset
    Images of particles collected in sediment traps for quantitative analysis from multiple platforms from 2016-2017
    (Biological and Chemical Oceanography Data Management Office (BCO-DMO). Contact:, 2020-07-15) Durkin, Colleen ; Estapa, Margaret L. ; Omand, Melissa
    Images of particles collected in sediment traps for quantitative analysis from multiple platforms from 2016-2017 For a complete list of measurements, refer to the full dataset description in the supplemental file 'Dataset_description.pdf'. The most current version of this dataset is available at:
  • Article
    Freshwater in the Bay of Bengal : its fate and role in air-sea heat exchange
    (The Oceanography Society, 2016-06) Mahadevan, Amala ; Spiro Jaeger, Gualtiero ; Freilich, Mara ; Omand, Melissa M. ; Shroyer, Emily L. ; Sengupta, Debasis
    The strong salinity stratification in the upper 50–80 m of the Bay of Bengal affects the response of the upper ocean to surface heat fluxes. Using observations from November to December 2013, we examine the effect of surface cooling on the temperature structure of the ocean in a one-dimensional framework. The presence of freshwater adds gravitational stability to the density stratification and prevents convective overturning, even when the surface becomes cooler than the subsurface. This stable salinity stratification traps heat within subsurface layers. The ocean’s reluctance to release the heat trapped within these subsurface warm layers can contribute to delayed rise in surface temperature and heat loss from the ocean as winter progresses. Understanding the dispersal of freshwater throughout the bay can help scientists assess its potential for generating the anomalous temperature response. We use the Aquarius along-track surface salinity and satellite-derived surface velocities to trace the evolution and modification of salinity in the Lagrangian frame of water parcels as they move through the bay with the mesoscale circulation. This advective tracking of surface salinities provides a Lagrangian interpolation of the monthly salinity fields in 2013 and shows the evolution of the freshwater distribution. The along-trajectory rate of salinification of water as it leaves the northern bay is estimated and interpreted to result from mixing processes that are likely related to the host of submesoscale signatures observed during our field campaigns.
  • Dataset
    Orientation and growth of colonies of four diatom species (Stephanopyxis turris, Pseudo-nitzschia sp., Skeletonema sp., and Odontella sinensis) in Couette flow
    (Biological and Chemical Oceanography Data Management Office (BCO-DMO). Contact:, 2021-11-16) Sullivan, James ; McFarland, Malcolm ; Nayak, Aditya ; Omand, Melissa ; Rines, Jan
    This dataset includes data on the orientation and growth of colonies of four diatom species (Stephanopyxis turris, Pseudo-nitzschia sp., Skeletonema sp., and Odontella sinensis) in Couette flow. Experiments were conducted at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute in Fort Pierce, FL, USA from March 2020 to June 2021. Data are provided from all replicates and summary data (means) are provided as a Supplemental File. For a complete list of measurements, refer to the full dataset description in the supplemental file 'Dataset_description.pdf'. The most current version of this dataset is available at:
  • Article
    Effects of freshwater stratification on nutrients, dissolved oxygen, and phytoplankton in the Bay of Bengal
    (The Oceanography Society, 2016-06) Sarma, V. V. S. S. ; Rao, G. S. ; Viswanadham, R. ; Sherin, C. K. ; Salisbury, Joseph E. ; Omand, Melissa M. ; Mahadevan, Amala ; Murty, V. S. N. ; Shroyer, Emily L. ; Baumgartner, Mark F. ; Stafford, Kathleen M.
    The Bay of Bengal (BoB) is strongly density stratified due to large freshwater input from various rivers and heavy precipitation. This strong vertical stratification, along with physical processes, regulates the transport and vertical exchange of surface and subsurface water, concentrating nutrients and intensifying the oxygen minimum zone (OMZ). Here, we use basinwide measurements to describe the spatial distributions of nutrients, oxygen, and phytoplankton within the BoB during the 2013 northeast monsoon (November–December). By the time riverine water reaches the interior bay, it is depleted in the nutrients nitrate and phosphate, but not silicate. Layering of freshwater in the northern BoB depresses isopycnals, leading to a deepening of the nutricline and oxycline. Oxygen concentrations in the OMZ are lowest in the north (<5 µM). Weak along-isopycnal nutrient gradients reflect along-isopycnal stirring between ventilated surface water and deep nutrient-replenished water. Picoplankton dominate the phytoplankton population in the north, presumably outcompeting larger phytoplankton species due to their low nutrient requirements. Micro- and nanoplankton numbers are enhanced in regions with deeper mixed layers and weaker stratification, where nutrient replenishment from subsurface waters is more feasible. These are also the regions where marine mammals were sighted. Physical processes and the temperature-salinity structure in the BoB directly influence the OMZ and the depth of the oxycline and nutricline, thereby affecting the phytoplankton and marine mammal communities.
  • Article
    Twilight zone observation network: a distributed observation network for sustained, real-time interrogation of the ocean’s twilight zone
    (Marine Technology Society, 2021-05-01) Thorrold, Simon R. ; Adams, Allan ; Bucklin, Ann ; Buesseler, Ken O. ; Fischer, Godi ; Govindarajan, Annette F. ; Hoagland, Porter ; Di, Jin ; Lavery, Andone C. ; Llopez, Joel ; Madin, Laurence P. ; Omand, Melissa M. ; Renaud, Philip ; Sosik, Heidi M. ; Wiebe, Peter ; Yoerger, Dana R. ; Zhang, Weifeng G.
    The ocean's twilight zone (TZ) is a vast, globe-spanning region of the ocean. Home to myriad fishes and invertebrates, mid-water fishes alone may constitute 10 times more biomass than all current ocean wild-caught fisheries combined. Life in the TZ supports ocean food webs and plays a critical role in carbon capture and sequestration. Yet the ecological roles that mesopelagic animals play in the ocean remain enigmatic. This knowledge gap has stymied efforts to determine the effects that extraction of mesopelagic biomass by industrial fisheries, or alterations due to climate shifts, may have on ecosystem services provided by the open ocean. We propose to develop a scalable, distributed observation network to provide sustained interrogation of the TZ in the northwest Atlantic. The network will leverage a “tool-chest” of emerging and enabling technologies including autonomous, unmanned surface and underwater vehicles and swarms of low-cost “smart” floats. Connectivity among in-water assets will allow rapid assimilation of data streams to inform adaptive sampling efforts. The TZ observation network will demonstrate a bold new step towards the goal of continuously observing vast regions of the deep ocean, significantly improving TZ biomass estimates and understanding of the TZ's role in supporting ocean food webs and sequestering carbon.
  • Working Paper
    Pump it Up workshop report
    (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2017-10-20) Buesseler, Ken O. ; Adams, Allan ; Bellingham, James G. ; Dever, Mathieu ; Edgcomb, Virginia P. ; Estapa, Margaret L. ; Frank, Alex ; Gallager, Scott M. ; Govindarajan, Annette F. ; Horner, Tristan J. ; Hunter, Jon ; Jakuba, Michael V. ; Kapit, Jason ; Katija, Kakani ; Lawson, Gareth L. ; Lu, Yuehan ; Mahadevan, Amala ; Nicholson, David P. ; Omand, Melissa M. ; Palevsky, Hilary I. ; Rauch, Chris ; Sosik, Heidi M. ; Ulmer, Kevin M. ; Wurgaft, Eyal ; Yoerger, Dana R.
    A two-day workshop was conducted to trade ideas and brainstorm about how to advance our understanding of the ocean’s biological pump. The goal was to identify the most important scientific issues that are unresolved but might be addressed with new and future technological advances.
  • Article
    Biogenic sinking particle fluxes and sediment trap collection efficiency at Ocean Station Papa
    (University of California Press, 2021-06-17) Estapa, Margaret L. ; Buesseler, Ken O. ; Durkin, Colleen A. ; Omand, Melissa M. ; Benitez-Nelson, Claudia R. ; Roca-Martí, Montserrat ; Breves, Elly ; Kelly, Roger P. ; Pike, Steven M.
    Comprehensive field observations characterizing the biological carbon pump (BCP) provide the foundation needed to constrain mechanistic models of downward particulate organic carbon (POC) flux in the ocean. Sediment traps were deployed three times during the EXport Processes in the Ocean from RemoTe Sensing campaign at Ocean Station Papa in August–September 2018. We propose a new method to correct sediment trap sample contamination by zooplankton “swimmers.” We consider the advantages of polyacrylamide gel collectors to constrain swimmer influence and estimate the magnitude of possible trap biases. Measured sediment trap fluxes of thorium-234 are compared to water column measurements to assess trap performance and estimate the possible magnitude of fluxes by vertically migrating zooplankton that bypassed traps. We found generally low fluxes of sinking POC (1.38 ± 0.77 mmol C m–2 d–1 at 100 m, n = 9) that included high and variable contributions by rare, large particles. Sinking particle sizes generally decreased between 100 and 335 m. Measured 234Th fluxes were smaller than water column 234Th fluxes by a factor of approximately 3. Much of this difference was consistent with trap undersampling of both small (<32 μm) and rare, large particles (>1 mm) and with zooplankton active migrant fluxes. The fraction of net primary production exported below the euphotic zone (0.1% light level; Ez-ratio = 0.10 ± 0.06; ratio uncertainties are propagated from measurements with n = 7–9) was consistent with prior, late summer studies at Station P, as was the fraction of material exported to 100 m below the base of the euphotic zone (T100, 0.55 ± 0.35). While both the Ez-ratio and T100 parameters varied weekly, their product, which we interpret as overall BCP efficiency, was remarkably stable (0.055 ± 0.010), suggesting a tight coupling between production and recycling at Station P.
  • Article
    ASIRI : an ocean–atmosphere initiative for Bay of Bengal
    (American Meteorological Society, 2016-11-22) Wijesekera, Hemantha W. ; Shroyer, Emily L. ; Tandon, Amit ; Ravichandran, M. ; Sengupta, Debasis ; Jinadasa, S. U. P. ; Fernando, Harindra J. S. ; Agrawal, Neeraj ; Arulananthan, India K. ; Bhat, G. S. ; Baumgartner, Mark F. ; Buckley, Jared ; Centurioni, Luca R. ; Conry, Patrick ; Farrar, J. Thomas ; Gordon, Arnold L. ; Hormann, Verena ; Jarosz, Ewa ; Jensen, Tommy G. ; Johnston, T. M. Shaun ; Lankhorst, Matthias ; Lee, Craig M. ; Leo, Laura S. ; Lozovatsky, Iossif ; Lucas, Andrew J. ; MacKinnon, Jennifer A. ; Mahadevan, Amala ; Nash, Jonathan D. ; Omand, Melissa M. ; Pham, Hieu ; Pinkel, Robert ; Rainville, Luc ; Ramachandran, Sanjiv ; Rudnick, Daniel L. ; Sarkar, Sutanu ; Send, Uwe ; Sharma, Rashmi ; Simmons, Harper L. ; Stafford, Kathleen M. ; St. Laurent, Louis C. ; Venayagamoorthy, Subhas K. ; Venkatesan, Ramasamy ; Teague, William J. ; Wang, David W. ; Waterhouse, Amy F. ; Weller, Robert A. ; Whalen, Caitlin B.
    Air–Sea Interactions in the Northern Indian Ocean (ASIRI) is an international research effort (2013–17) aimed at understanding and quantifying coupled atmosphere–ocean dynamics of the Bay of Bengal (BoB) with relevance to Indian Ocean monsoons. Working collaboratively, more than 20 research institutions are acquiring field observations coupled with operational and high-resolution models to address scientific issues that have stymied the monsoon predictability. ASIRI combines new and mature observational technologies to resolve submesoscale to regional-scale currents and hydrophysical fields. These data reveal BoB’s sharp frontal features, submesoscale variability, low-salinity lenses and filaments, and shallow mixed layers, with relatively weak turbulent mixing. Observed physical features include energetic high-frequency internal waves in the southern BoB, energetic mesoscale and submesoscale features including an intrathermocline eddy in the central BoB, and a high-resolution view of the exchange along the periphery of Sri Lanka, which includes the 100-km-wide East India Coastal Current (EICC) carrying low-salinity water out of the BoB and an adjacent, broad northward flow (∼300 km wide) that carries high-salinity water into BoB during the northeast monsoon. Atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) observations during the decaying phase of the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) permit the study of multiscale atmospheric processes associated with non-MJO phenomena and their impacts on the marine boundary layer. Underway analyses that integrate observations and numerical simulations shed light on how air–sea interactions control the ABL and upper-ocean processes.
  • Article
    Episodic vertical nutrient fluxes and nearshore phytoplankton blooms in Southern California
    (Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography, 2012-11) Omand, Melissa M. ; Feddersen, Falk ; Guza, R. T. ; Franks, Peter J. S.
    Three distinct phytoplankton blooms lasting 4–9 d were observed in approximately 15-m water depth near Huntington Beach, California, between June and October of 2006. Each bloom was preceded by a vertical NO3 flux event 6–10 d earlier. NO3 concentrations were estimated using a temperature proxy that was verified by comparison with the limited NO3 observations. The lower–water-column vertical NO3 flux from vertical advection was inferred from observed vertical isotherm displacement. Turbulent vertical eddy diffusivity was parameterized based on the observed background (< 0.3 cycles h−1) stratification and vertical shear in the horizontal currents. The first vertical nitrate flux event in June contained both advective and turbulent fluxes, whereas the later two events were primarily turbulent, driven by shear in the lower part of the water column. The correlation between the NO3 flux and the observed chlorophyll a (Chl a) was maximum (r2 = 0.40) with an 8-d lag. A simple nitrate–phytoplankton model using a linear uptake function and driven with the NO3 flux captured the timing, magnitude, and duration of the three Chl a blooms (skill = 0.61) using optimal net growth rate parameters that were within the expected range. Vertical and horizontal advection of Chl a past the measurement site were too small to explain the observed Chl a increases during the blooms. The vertical NO3 flux was a primary control on the growth events, and estimation of both the advective (upwelled) and turbulent fluxes is necessary to best predict these episodic blooms.
  • Article
    Sinking flux of particulate organic matter in the oceans: Sensitivity to particle characteristics
    (Nature Research, 2020-03-27) Omand, Melissa M. ; Govindarajan, Rama ; He, Jing ; Mahadevan, Amala
    The sinking of organic particles produced in the upper sunlit layers of the ocean forms an important limb of the oceanic biological pump, which impacts the sequestration of carbon and resupply of nutrients in the mesopelagic ocean. Particles raining out from the upper ocean undergo remineralization by bacteria colonized on their surface and interior, leading to an attenuation in the sinking flux of organic matter with depth. Here, we formulate a mechanistic model for the depth-dependent, sinking, particulate mass flux constituted by a range of sinking, remineralizing particles. Like previous studies, we find that the model does not achieve the characteristic ‘Martin curve’ flux profile with a single type of particle, but instead requires a distribution of particle sizes and/or properties. We consider various functional forms of remineralization appropriate for solid/compact particles, and aggregates with an anoxic or oxic interior. We explore the sensitivity of the shape of the flux vs. depth profile to the choice of remineralization function, relative particle density, particle size distribution, and water column density stratification, and find that neither a power-law nor exponential function provides a definitively superior fit to the modeled profiles. The profiles are also sensitive to the time history of the particle source. Varying surface particle size distribution (via the slope of the particle number spectrum) over 3 days to represent a transient phytoplankton bloom results in transient subsurface maxima or pulses in the sinking mass flux. This work contributes to a growing body of mechanistic export flux models that offer scope to incorporate underlying dynamical and biological processes into global carbon cycle models.
  • Article
    A visual tour of carbon export by sinking particles
    (American Geophysical Union, 2021-10-06) Durkin, Colleen A. ; Buesseler, Ken O. ; Cetinić, Ivona ; Estapa, Margaret L. ; Kelly, Roger P. ; Omand, Melissa M.
    To better quantify the ocean's biological carbon pump, we resolved the diversity of sinking particles that transport carbon into the ocean's interior, their contribution to carbon export, and their attenuation with depth. Sinking particles collected in sediment trap gel layers from four distinct ocean ecosystems were imaged, measured, and classified. The size and identity of particles was used to model their contribution to particulate organic carbon (POC) flux. Measured POC fluxes were reasonably predicted by particle images. Nine particle types were identified, and most of the compositional variability was driven by the relative contribution of aggregates, long cylindrical fecal pellets, and salp fecal pellets. While particle composition varied across locations and seasons, the entire range of compositions was measured at a single well-observed location in the subarctic North Pacific over one month, across 500 m of depth. The magnitude of POC flux was not consistently associated with a dominant particle class, but particle classes did influence flux attenuation. Long fecal pellets attenuated most rapidly with depth whereas certain other classes attenuated little or not at all with depth. Small particles (<100 μm) consistently contributed ∼5% to total POC flux in samples with higher magnitude fluxes. The relative importance of these small particle classes (spherical mini pellets, short oval fecal pellets, and dense detritus) increased in low flux environments (up to 46% of total POC flux). Imaging approaches that resolve large variations in particle composition across ocean basins, depth, and time will help to better parameterize biological carbon pump models.
  • Article
    Size-differentiated export flux in different dynamical regimes in the ocean
    (American Geophysical Union, 2021-02-17) Dever, Mathieu ; Nicholson, David P. ; Omand, Melissa M. ; Mahadevan, Amala
    Export of Particulate Organic Carbon (POC) is mainly driven by gravitational sinking. Thus, traditionally, it is thought that larger, faster-sinking particles make up most of the POC export flux. However, this need not be the case for particles whose sinking speeds are comparable to the vertical velocities of a dynamic flow field that can influence the descent rate of particles. Particles with different settling speeds are released in two process-oriented model simulations of an upper ocean eddying flow in the Northeast Pacific to evaluate the impact of (1) ocean dynamics on the respective contribution of the different sinking-velocity classes to POC export, and (2) the particle number size-spectrum slope. The analysis reveals that the leading export mechanism changes from gravitationally driven to advectively driven as submesoscale dynamics become more active in the region. The vertical velocity associated with submesoscale dynamics enhances the contribution of slower-sinking particles to POC export flux by a factor ranging from 3 to 10, especially where the relative abundance of small particles is large (i.e., steep particle size-spectrum slope). Remineralization generally decreases the total amount of biomass exported, but its impact is weaker in dynamical regimes where submesoscale dynamics are present and export is advectively driven. In an advectively driven export regime, remineralization processes counter-intuitively enhance the role of slower-sinking particles to the point where these slower-sinking velocity classes dominate the export, therefore challenging the traditional paradigm for POC export. This study demonstrates that slow-sinking particles can be a significant contribution, and at times, even dominate the export flux.
  • Working Paper
    EXPORTS Measurements and Protocols for the NE Pacific Campaign
    (NASA STI Program and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2021-02) Behrenfeld, Michael J. ; Benitez-Nelson, Claudia R. ; Boss, Emmanuel S. ; Brzezinski, Mark A. ; Buck, Kristen N. ; Buesseler, Ken O. ; Burd, Adrian B. ; Carlson, Craig A. ; Cassar, Nicolas ; Cetinić, Ivona ; Close, Hilary G. ; Craig, Susanne E. ; D'Asaro, Eric A. ; Durkin, Colleen A. ; Estapa, Margaret L. ; Fassbender, Andrea ; Fox, James ; Freeman, Scott ; Gifford, Scott M. ; Gong, Weida ; Graff, Jason R. ; Gray, Deric ; Guidi, Lionel ; Halsey, Kim ; Hansell, Dennis A. ; Haëntjens, Nils ; Horner, Tristan J. ; Jenkins, Bethany D. ; Jones, Janice L. ; Karp-Boss, Lee ; Kramer, Sasha J. ; Lam, Phoebe J. ; Lee, Craig M. ; Lee, Jong-Mi ; Liu, Shuting ; Mannino, Antonio ; Maas, Amy E. ; Marchal, Olivier ; Marchetti, Adrian ; McDonnell, Andrew M. P. ; McNair, Heather ; Menden-Deuer, Susanne ; Morison, Francoise ; Nelson, Norman B. ; Nicholson, David P. ; Niebergall, Alexandria K. ; Omand, Melissa M. ; Passow, Uta ; Perry, Mary J. ; Popp, Brian N. ; Proctor, Chris ; Rafter, Patrick ; Roca-Martí, Montserrat ; Roesler, Collin S. ; Rubin, Edwina ; Rynearson, Tatiana A. ; Santoro, Alyson E. ; Siegel, David A. ; Sosik, Heidi M. ; Soto Ramos, Inia ; Stamieszkin, Karen ; Steinberg, Deborah K. ; Stephens, Brandon M. ; Thompson, Andrew F. ; Van Mooy, Benjamin A. S. ; Zhang, Xiaodong
    EXport Processes in the Ocean from Remote Sensing (EXPORTS) is a large-scale NASA-led and NSF co-funded field campaign that will provide critical information for quantifying the export and fate of upper ocean net primary production (NPP) using satellite information and state of the art technology.
  • Article
    The neutrally buoyant sediment trap: two decades of progress
    (American Meteorological Society, 2020-05-21) Estapa, Margaret L. ; Valdes, James R. ; Tradd, Kaitlyn ; Sugar, Jackson ; Omand, Melissa M. ; Buesseler, Ken O.
    The biological carbon flux from the ocean’s surface into its interior has traditionally been sampled by sediment traps, which physically intercept sinking particulate matter. However, the manner in which a sediment trap interacts with the flow field around it can introduce hydrodynamic biases, motivating the development of neutral, self-ballasting trap designs. Here, the performance of one of these designs, the neutrally buoyant sediment trap (NBST), is described and evaluated. The NBST has been successfully used in a number of scientific studies since a prototype was last described in the literature two decades ago, with extensive modifications in subsequent years. Originated at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the NBST is built around a profiling float and carries cylindrical collection tubes, a feature that distinguishes it from other neutral traps described in the literature. This paper documents changes to the device that have been implemented over the last two decades, including wider trap tubes; Iridium Communications, Inc., satellite communications; and the addition of polyacrylamide gel collectors and optical sedimentation sensors. Information is also provided with the intent of aiding the development of similar devices by other researchers, including the present adaptation of the concept to utilize commercially available profiling float hardware. The performance of NBSTs built around commercial profiling floats is comparable to NBSTs built around customized floats, albeit with some additional operational considerations. Data from recent field studies comparing NBSTs and traditional, surface-tethered sediment traps are used to illustrate the performance of the instrument design. Potential improvements to the design that remain to be incorporated through future work are also outlined.
  • Article
    Large-scale alignment of oceanic nitrate and density
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2013-10-15) Omand, Melissa M. ; Mahadevan, Amala
    By analyzing global data, we find that over large scales, surfaces of constant nitrate are often better aligned with isopycnals than with isobars, particularly below the euphotic zone. This is unexplained by the movement of isopycnal surfaces in response to eddies and internal waves, and is perhaps surprising given that the biological processes that alter nitrate distributions are largely depth dependent. We provide a theoretical framework for understanding the orientation of isonitrate surfaces in relation to isopycnals. In our model, the nitrate distribution results from the balance between depth-dependent biological processes (nitrate uptake and remineralization), and the along-isopycnal homogenization of properties by eddy fluxes (parameterized by eddy diffusivity). Where the along-isopycnal eddy diffusivity is relatively large, nitrate surfaces are better aligned with isopycnals than isobars. We test our theory by estimating the strength of the eddy diffusivity and biological export production from global satellite data sets and comparing their contributions. Indeed, we find that below the euphotic zone, the mean isonitrate surfaces are oriented along isopycnals where the isopycnal eddy diffusivity is large, and deviate where the biological export of organic matter is relatively strong. Comparison of nitrate data from profiling floats in different regions corroborates the hypothesis by showing variations in the nitrate-density relationship from one part of the ocean to another.