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Retrieving a sediment trap in the Gulf of Mexico

Detailed Description

A large winch on the stern of R/V Pelican is used to retrieve two sediment traps from the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. 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.