About this Research Topic
The oceanic particle flux plays a major role in global elemental cycles, the ocean uptake of carbon dioxide, and the transfer of energy and matter to the deep ocean and sediments. The particle flux and its composition represent a dynamic balance between ecosystem-driven processes that generate large sinking particles in the upper ocean and particle cycling processes within the ocean interior that consume, modify and produce new sinking particles.
This multidisciplinary Research Topic will bring together new research articles under themes related to geochemistry, biology, oceanography, modeling and climatology to provide a broad overview of current research on the interlinked processes that control the magnitude and composition of the deep ocean particle flux, its attenuation and transformation with depth, and its coupling with associated biogeochemical cycles.
Emerging observational platforms, sampling methods and advances in imaging, chemical and molecular (e.g., metabolomics, metagenomics, transcriptomics) techniques are expanding opportunities for deep ocean particle biological characterization and providing novel insights on particle flux transformations within the deep water column. New discoveries include the depth evolution and organization of particle-associated microbial communities and their distinct roles in carbon remineralization, elemental cycling and authigenic mineralization. The Research Topic is envisioned to include:
(1) topical articles on novel research related to deep ocean particle cycling and organic carbon remineralization, elemental scavenging and transport, authigenic mineral formation, zooplankton-mediated processes, etc.
(2) modeling studies providing quantitative assessments of linkages between ecosystem structure and global patterns in surface export and flux transfer efficiency to the deep ocean,
(3) syntheses of time-series studies of the particle flux in differing oceanographic regimes and
(4) mini-reviews highlighting key knowledge gaps in our current understanding of the deep ocean and particle cycling processes.
Keywords: elemental cycles, oceanic particle flux, deep ocean, biogeochemistry, organic carbon, mineralization
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.