AfricaNSFThe Research University (TRU)

Operation of a Marine Atmospheric Sampling Facility at Tudor Hill, Bermuda: Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS), Inc.

Anthony Knap

[email protected]

OCE-0526054<br/><br/>The processes of atmospheric transport and air-sea exchange play major roles in the geochemical cycling of biologically important elements, as well as impacting on the Earth's radiation budget and the distribution of pollutants and pathogens. There is a pressing need to better understand these processes, in order to predict and mitigate the effects of anticipated changes in the global climate and environment. This requires an increased observational and experimental capability with respect to atmospheric transport and atmosphere-ocean exchange processes – an imperative has been recognized in the emergence of research initiatives such as the Surface Ocean Lower Atmosphere Study (SOLAS), GEOTRACES, and the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI). <br/><br/>Bermuda has been a key sampling and observational location for a number of important studies of the marine atmosphere, by virtue of its location in the western North Atlantic, where the atmosphere is impacted by emissions from North America, Europe, North Africa and the surrounding ocean. Bermuda is now well equipped for such studies, with a 23-m high atmospheric sampling tower and site laboratories that were established at Tudor Hill, on the southwest coast of the island, during the NSF-AEROCE program (1987-1998).<br/><br/>Under this award, researchers at the Bermuda Biological Station for Research will receive funding to maintain and operate this valuable facility for use by the research community beyond August 2005. With this support they will: (1) maintain a state-of-the-art atmospheric sampling facility at Tudor Hill, Bermuda; (2) collect, archive and make freely available meteorological data and selected "core" atmospheric samples (weekly bulk aerosols and rainwater) for use by other researchers; and (3) provide the opportunity for the collection of additional atmospheric samples and data for other investigators, and for use of the facility by other investigators. They will assess modest facility-user fees for the collection of samples or data in addition to the weekly "core" sampling, or other uses of the facilities. The anticipated net revenue from these user fees over the project period (ca. $10,000-15,000 per year) will be used to defray the costs of additional technician support, maintenance and equipment replacement for the tower facility. <br/><br/>In terms of broader impacts, the continued operation of the Tudor Hill tower will facilitate a wide variety of ocean-atmosphere research, which is expected to further our knowledge of the Earth system and to improve our ability to predict and mitigate the effects of future environmental change. Within a regional context, the Bermuda tower will form part of an ocean observatory network in the Sargasso Sea, along with ongoing ocean time-series programs including Hydrostation S, the Bermuda Atlantic Time-series Study (BATS), the Bermuda Testbed Mooring Program, and the Oceanic Flux Program. Together, these observational programs promise an unprecedented understanding of oceanic and atmospheric processes. This project is expected to make significant educational contributions at a number of levels. Data and samples collected during our renewal project will be made available for use in graduate research projects, as they have been used during our current award. The Tudor Hill facility will also provide opportunities for undergraduate education, through use in BBSR's NSF-funded Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program, and in lecture materials for undergraduate courses that are offered at BBSR. Descriptions of the research carried out at the Tudor Hill facility will continue to be used in BBSR's public outreach activities, such as public lectures, annual open-house day, and on the internet via the BBSR web site. <br/>

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