Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
 2005 projects
Upper ocean biogeochemistry

Equatorial Pacific mooring

Project Manager and Lead Scientist: Francisco Chavez
Lead Engineer: Kent Headley

Upwelling in the equatorial Pacific leads to enhanced productivity and degassing of CO2 across a region ranging from the coast of South America to past the international date line. The vast area affected makes this region a significant component of the global biogeochemical cycle. The magnitude of the primary productivity signal resulting from this upwelling is relatively low due to iron limitation, thus much of the CO2 brought to the surface is released to the atmosphere through gas exchange. Since December 1996, MBARI has maintained bio-optical and chemical instrumentation on two moorings in the equatorial Pacific, with support from the NOAA and NASA. These moored observations are important because this region exhibits strong seasonal, interannual and multi-decadal variability. Since the 1997-98 El NiƱo, the equatorial Pacific has been unusually cool, perhaps indicating a longer-term change. In this proposal, support is sought to continue our equatorial Pacific biological and chemical sensor deployment program to further describe the scales of variability (from days to years) in the sources and sinks of carbon in this important region.

More about EQPAC moorings here

Last updated: Feb. 05, 2009