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Caitlin Reynolds with a sediment trap in the Gulf of Mexico

Detailed Description

Caitlin Reynolds of the USGS St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center secures a sediment trap, retrieved from the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico on board the R/V Pelican. Sediment and foraminifera (forams) are caught in the large area at the top of the funnel, then collected in a jar at the bottom of the funnel. Foram shells incorporate information about their environment such as ocean chemistry, temperature, and salinity. They only live in the water column for a few weeks, and eventually die and sink to the bottom of the ocean (or into a sediment trap) and pile up in layers. This layering of sediment and forams on the ocean floor therefore creates a detailed record of environmental change.

Learn how forams are used to study Climate and Environmental Change.


Public Domain.