Oceanic Carbon Sequestration: The Role of Particle Injection Pumps

Session ID#: 85115

Session Description:
Many decades of extensive study quantifying the oceans’ biological carbon pump have revealed that sinking particle fluxes alone often cannot balance mesopelagic carbon budgets or meet the demands of biota in the oceans’ interior. Over this period, ocean physicists and biologists have discovered other mechanisms to inject particles into subsurface waters, including detrainment from the mixed layer, subduction by eddies and the large-scale circulation, and zooplankton migration. In the last five years robotic technologies have improved our ability to assess the characteristics and roles of these processes, here termed particle injection pumps (PIPS). This tutorial synthesises the findings of many studies straddling each of five PIPS, and compares their magnitude to that of the Biological Gravitational Pump (BGP). The PIPS can boost carbon sequestration by injecting suspended and slow-sinking particles to depth before remineralization occurs. In this way, PIPS may sequester as much carbon as the BGP, thereby helping to close the carbon budget . We conclude the tutorial by discussing the next steps in the investigation of the role of particle injection pumps in the ocean carbon cycle, with an eye towards predicting carbon sequestration in a changing ocean.
  • IS - Ocean Observatories, Instrumentation and Sensing Technologies
  • OB - Ocean Biology and Biogeochemistry
  • OM - Ocean Modeling
Index Terms:
Primary Presenter:  Philip W Boyd, University of Tasmania, Biogeochemistry, Hobart, TAS, Australia
Co-Presenter:  Thomas S Weber, University of Rochester, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Rochester, United States
Moderators:  Nichole Price, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, East Boothbay, United States and Hadley McIntosh Marcek, University of Maryland Center (UMCES CBL) for Environmental Science Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, Solomons, MD, United States

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