Sediment traps collect the samples needed for the lab’s measure of particulate organic carbon. 21-cup sequencing sediment traps (McLane Research Labs) are deployed 600 meters above bottom (mab) and 50 mab, above the camera tripod mooring. The cups are set to a ten-day collect time. The top of the trap has a plastic baffle, which prevents large objects from entering the trap and potentially clogging the funnel.
Upon bringing the traps to the surface, animals that might have swum into the trap are counted and removed. The remaining sample is split into portions for microscopy, pigment analysis and carbon analysis. The latter sample is freeze-dried, weighed, and analyzed for salt-corrected inorganic carbon content and total carbon content, from which organic carbon content can be calculated.