Chemical Sensor Program
MBARI Chemical Sensor Program Research

Chemicals in the ocean can play essential roles in controlling the growth rates of oceanic plants, production of fish and the earth's climate.  The amount of iron present in seawater may regulate the onset and termination of glacial epochs (ice ages).   Most chemicals cannot be measured unless a research ship is present with scientists to collect and analyze (or store for later analysis) seawater samples.  We develop instruments that can be deployed from remote buoys.  This allows us to measure chemical concentrations when the research ship is not present.  We are especially interested in chemicals that are essential nutrients for the plankton (much of the ocean is a desert, not because it lacks water, but because it lacks fertilizer).  Current projects to develop chemical sensor systems include:

A nitrate sensor in a profiling float

Flow Injection Analysis for Trace Elements

In Situ Ultraviolet Spectrophotometer, the ISUS nitrate sensor

Digital Submersible Chemical Analyzer

Current projects using chemical sensor systems:

Land/Ocean Biogeochemical Observatory

In Situ Monitoring of Nitrate in Monterey Bay

A paper on diel nitrate cycles observed with moored nitrate sensors

Another Page on In Situ Monitoring of Nitrate in Monterey Bay

Southern Ocean Iron Experiment (SOFeX)

MBARI Surface Ocean Lower Atmosphere Study

Iron Regulation of Coastal Ecosystems

MBARI Upwelling Science Experiment (MUSE)

Last updated: Feb. 06, 2009