BioOptical Plattform (BOP)
We have developed a BioOptical Platform ‘BOP’ that combines a camera system and gel traps to differentiate between different particle types, their abundances, sizes, and sinking velocities at high temporal resolution. BOP will enable the study of both, small-scale processes affecting individual aggregates, as well as large-scale studies of all aggregates settling through the water column over varying arctic seas and other ocean regions. The results from BOP will help researches to understand how the marine food web interacts with the biological carbon pump at high temporal resolution (hours to days) on long-term time scales (years). Several monitoring observatories have long time-series of export fluxes collected with conventional sediment traps. These results have shown clear inter-annual and seasonal variations in the mass fluxes. Still, no link between surface ocean processes and deep ocean flux has been established. This shows the need for detailed process oriented studies investigating the biologically mediated particle transformations occurring in the twilight zone – the depths between the surface ocean and the deep ocean.