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Stable Carbon Isotopes in Sea Water,

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The program aims at an understanding of the relationships that exist between the many varied phases of carbon in the ocean, their relation to other phases in the oceanic environment, and the source, fate and regeneration of carbon phases. Stable isotopes provide an excellent means for detecting many of these relationships because they represent characteristic natural labels which allow us to trace the path of carbon in its natural cycle from one phase to another. Out results have a direct bearing on the identification of water masses and the extent and rate of vertical and horizontal mixing in the ocean. Our data from the Atlantic showed an excess of biogenic carbon at the depth of the oxygen minimum. This suggests horizontal advection of waters low in oxygen and high in biogenic carbon and supports the theory that the oxygen minimum layer is not merely a locally originating phenomenon but rather forms in the eastern tropical regions of high productivity and spreads horizontally from there. Much of our effort during the past year was centered on a thorough investigation of the carbon cycle in the Black Sea. The Black Sea has two features which make it particularly interesting a it is a basin which is nearly isolated from the Mediterranean and thereby the worlds oceans, b below an aerated top layer of 125 to 250 m thickness the water in anoxic, i.e. it contains no dissolved oxygen but rather hydrogen sulfide whose amounts increase with depth. Author

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  • Physical and Dynamic Oceanography

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