FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MBARI research highlights
AGU 2002 Fall
FRANCISCO—Researchers from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
(MBARI) will present more than twenty talks and posters at the American
Geophysical Union 2002 Fall Meeting in San Francisco. Their work spans a
broad range of current topics in ocean sciences and engineering, from
sea-bottom seismometers to strategies for mitigating global warming. A few
of these topics are highlighted below. A complete list of MBARI abstracts
is also available.
Iron in the ocean—
Catalyst for phytoplankton growth and climate change
Micrograms of iron can catalyze algal blooms in
the upper ocean waters, influencing food webs and perhaps even global
climate change, as the algae absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Sources of oceanic iron include wind-borne dust from land and sediment
deposits on the seafloor. Several MBARI researchers will describe recent
field experiments aimed at teasing out the role of iron in ocean
productivity, ecosystem regulation, and climate change. Chase et al.
show that the width of the continental shelf influences the amount of
iron reaching upper waters due to upwelling, with significant effects
on regional productivity. Johnson
et al., Chavez
et al., and Strutton et al. present early
results from their experiments during the multi-institutional Southern
Ocean Iron Experiment (SOFeX) in February 2002.
Z Chase, et
al., The Influence of Shelf Geometry on the Supply of Iron and
Manganese to Surface Waters in a Coastal Upwelling System, Sat AM 11:40,
MCC 270, OS61D-11.
V A Elrod, et
al., Iron in the MBARI Monterey Bay Time Series, Sun PM 1330, MCC
Hall D, OS72B-0357.
P G Strutton,
et al., The Impact of
Iron-induced Phytoplankton Blooms on the Heat Budget of the Mixed Layer,
Mon AM 0830, MCC Hall D, OS11A-0201.
F P Chavez,
et al., Observations and
models of iron fertilization in the Southern Ocean with emphasis on high
nitrate low silicate waters, Sun AM 08:30, MCC 274, OS71F-03 INVITED.
K S Johnson
et al., Open Ocean Iron
Fertilization Experiments From IronEx-I Through SOFEX: What We Know and
What We Still Need to Understand, Tue PM, 1645, MCC 274, OS22D-12 INVITED.
K S Johnson
et al., Iron and
Ecosystem Response to Surface Ocean-Lower Atmosphere Interactions in the
North Pacific Ocean Gyre, Sun AM 0830, MCC Hall D, A71C-0115 INVITED.
Long-term measurements and cutting-edge science
Ocean observatories can include a broad range of
remote oceanographic platforms, from autonomous underwater vehicles to
sea-bottom seismic networks. Most are designed to provide continuous or at
least periodic field data over a long time period. For example, data have
been collected for the past 13 years by a set of moored buoys off Monterey
Bay, providing new insight into this dynamic environment. Chavez, et
al. summarize the results of these and other ocean observatory
efforts in the Monterey Bay region. McGill, et al. describe
the installation of the world’s first permanent seafloor broadband
seismic station, a collaboration between MBARI and the University of
California, Berkeley. This benthic observatory is located in Monterey Bay,
40 km from shore and 1000 meters below the sea surface.
F P Chavez,
et al., Ocean
Observatory efforts in and around Monterey Bay, California, 1930 to the
present, Sun AM, 0830, MCC 274, OS71F-03.
P McGill, et
al., Deployment of a Long-Term Broadband Seafloor Observatory in
Monterey Bay, Sun AM, 0830, MCC Hall C, S71A-1049.
Injecting carbon dioxide into the deep sea—
Field observations and experiments
To reduce the effects of carbon dioxide released
into the atmosphere by human activities, it has been suggested that the
gas could be pumped directly into the deep sea where it might be
incorporated into seawater and eventually into sea-bed sediments. MBARI
scientists and engineers are among the few researchers who have actually
performed field experiments to determine the chemical and physical
interactions between CO2, seawater, and marine sediments at
oceanic depths. Their work indicates that such interactions are far more
complex than expected. Peltzer et al. summarize MBARI’s
work to date, including many surprising observations of unexpected
behavior of liquid CO2 and CO2 hydrates. White, et
al. describe the development and use of a laser Raman spectrometer
in the deep sea to quantify these dynamic processes. This spectrometer has
many other possible applications in submarine chemistry, geology, and
T Peltzer, et al.,
Progress in Small-scale Studies of Direct Ocean Sequestration of Carbon
Dioxide, Tue PM 1405, MCC 135, U22A-03.
S N White, et
al., Development of a Laser Raman Spectrometer for In Situ
Measurements in the Deep Ocean, Tue AM 0830, MCC Hall D, OS21B-0205.
Drinking from a
Organizing and visualizing large data sets and video libraries
One of the biggest challenges of the information
age is finding meaningful information within gigabytes of data. This
challenge is nowhere more acute than in the marine sciences where huge
spatial and temporal data sets must be analyzed and visualized to extract
trends and patterns. Similarly large scientific video libraries must be
meticulously annotated and cataloged to provide a useful reference for
future research. MBARI researchers describe several methods for processing
large volumes and diverse types of information, a process that will become
even more important as oceanic observatories are developed over the coming
decade. Graybeal, et al. describe an ocean observatory data
management system that can process and provide access to all kinds of data
sets and data streams, not only from existing oceanographic platforms, but
also from as-yet-unknown instruments and observatories. McCann
shows how a simple web-based interface can allow users to visualize
complex data in time and space, using open-standard software known as
GeoVRML (Geographical Virtual Reality Modeling Language). Wilkin, et
al. describe a flexible database and annotation system that allows
users to search the more than 13,000 hours of video and data collected by
MBARI’s remotely operated vehicles for useful scientific information
(for example, a scientist can find all sightings of a specific animal in a
specific depth range at a specific time of year).
et al., Designing
Extensible Data Management for Ocean Observatories, Platforms, and
Devices, Sat AM 11:25, MCC 274, OS61C-11.
M P McCann,
Using GeoVRML for Visual Dissemination of Oceanographic Data, Sat PM 1330,
MCC Hall D, OS62B-0249.
D Wilkin, et
al., Video data annotation, archiving, and access, Sat PM 1330,
MCC Hall D, OS62B-0250.
D W Caress,
D N Chayes, Processing, Archiving, and Disseminating Large Swath Mapping
Datasets Using MB-System, Sat AM 10:05, MCC 274, OS61C-07.
Debbie Meyer, AGU Press Room Dec. 6-10 (415) 905-1007
or at MBARI ( 831) 775-1807, firstname.lastname@example.org