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Upper ocean biogeochemistry

Inorganic carbon in the Black Sea
Project Manager: Gernot Friederich
Lead Scientist: Gernot Friederich

This component of the 2003 Black Sea Expedition will examine details of inorganic carbon distribution across the interfaces between anoxic and oxygenated layers of the water column. Observations of the carbon budget will help distinguish between the various abiogenic and biogenic pathways that have been proposed for the oxidation of reduced sulfur compounds and the processes occurring in the denitrification zone. Both heterotrophic and autotrophic organisms may produce significant changes of total inorganic carbon concentrations in each of the interfaces, while abiogenic transformations may only change the chemical equilibrium of the inorganic carbon system. 

The detailed chemical profiling of the water column required for these investigations has been made possible by the pumped profiling system developed by MBARI. The proposed data set will be incorporated in physical and process models as part of a collaboration with colleagues at the University of Washington, University of Miami, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and the Middle East Technical University.