Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 30 Issue 04

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Volume 30, No. 4
Pages 72 - 81


Evolution of Monitoring an Abyssal Time-Series Station in the Northeast Pacific Over 28 Years

By Kenneth L. Smith Jr. , Alana D. Sherman, Paul R. McGill, Rich G. Henthorn, John Ferreira, and Christine L. Huffard 
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Article Abstract

Station M is one of three abyssal time-series stations in the world ocean today. This station was established in 1989 to study the influence of seasonal pulses of particulate organic matter reaching the seafloor from the highly productive overlying waters of the California Current. Long time-series monitoring at Station M began with sequencing sediment traps moored in the benthic boundary layer and a time-lapse camera system taking hourly photographs of the seafloor. This monitoring has now expanded to include high-temporal-resolution recording of sedimenting particulate matter and estimated consumption of organic carbon on the seafloor. Persistent monitoring at Station M has revealed the importance of daily to weekly episodic deposition of pelagically derived organic matter that sustains the benthic community over decades. Continued efforts are now underway to link the production and settlement of organic matter during episodic events through the entire water column using a combination of satellite and upper-ocean sensing in concert with deep-ocean instrumentation. The ultimate goal is to model the carbon cycle from the surface to the seafloor with high temporal resolution to better define remineralization and sequestration parameters.


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