The Northwest Atlantic Ocean is a region characterized by both massive seasonal phytoplankton blooms and deep convective overturning events that can physically deliver organic carbon produced by phytoplankton to depth, where it can be sequestered on the timescales of ocean circulaiton. The region is consequently important in regulating the flux of atmospheric CO2 into the ocean.
The NASA-funded NAAMES program was comprised of four field campaigns in the Northwest Atlantic involving coordinated ship, aircraft, remote sensing, autonomous in situ sensing efforts. It was designed to resolve the dynamics and drivers of the annual phytoplankton bloom and their subsequent impacts on the atmosphere. The framework of NAAMES represented a great opportunity for us to track and assess the temporal and spatial dynamics of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), as well as the mechanisms that control its accumulation, persistence, and export. Our work on NAAMES was funded by the National Science Foundation and served as the focus of my dissertation, which is publicly available here.In this paper, we combined autonomous float and ship-collected data to constrain the seasonal accumulation and export potential of DOC in the study region.
We wrote notes from the field, published on NASA’s Earth Observatory Blogs.Smithsonian initiative led by Dr. Alyson Santoro, from which a short film by filmaker Brendan Byrne was made:
Nicole Estaphan, a journalist for WCVB-TV ABC Boston sailed with us on NAAMES and put together a story for the project: