National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 1992

Workshop report: Particle sampling and preservation

Feely, R.A., J.H. Trefry, and B. Monger

Geophysical Monograph 63, 5–22, doi: 10.1029/GM063p0005, In Marine Particles: Analysis and Characterization, AGU, Washington, D.C. (1991)

Suspended particles play a major role in the geochemical cycles of many elements and compounds in the oceans. Furthermore, chemical transformations and fluxes of particles in the water column have a large impact on the distributions of most dissolved substances. Recognition of this role has motivated oceanographers to develop innovative methods for studying particles in the sea over the past thirty years. The size spectrum, mineralogy and chemical composition of particles in the oceans can vary significantly from one environmental setting to another. Thus, marine scientists have employed a variety of different sampling techniques including shipboard filtration procedures, in situ filtration and sediment traps. In this overview chapter, we will outline present sample collection and preservation techniques while also identifying problems to be addressed in future research. The reader will be directed to specific chapters in this monograph for detailed descriptions of current problems and potential solutions.

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