Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 14 Issue 04

View Issue TOC
Volume 14, No. 4
Pages 59 - 67


The Flux of Particulate Organic Carbon Into the Ocean Interior: A Comparison of Four U.S. JGOFS Regional Studies

By William M. Berelson 
Jump to
Citation Copyright & Usage
First Paragraph

The delivery of nutrients to the sunlit surface ocean spurs phytoplankton growth and the production of particulate organic carbon (POC). As organisms die or are consumed and excreted, some of these particles settle and are exported deep into the ocean interior before remineralization occurs; this process is a component of what is commonly called the “biological pump” (see Ducklow et al., this issue). Equations that generalize the relationship between the amount of carbon produced and the amount exported from the surface ocean, as well as the relationship between the export flux and ocean depth, are key components of models that seek to predict the distribution of CO2 in the ocean in time and space.


Berelson, W.M. 2001. The flux of particulate organic carbon into the ocean interior: A comparison of four U.S. JGOFS regional studies. Oceanography 14(4):59–67, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2001.07.

Copyright & Usage

This is an open access article made available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution, and reproduction in any medium or format as long as users cite the materials appropriately, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate the changes that were made to the original content. Images, animations, videos, or other third-party material used in articles are included in the Creative Commons license unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If the material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission directly from the license holder to reproduce the material.