Ocean Scientific International Ltd (OSIL) has reported sharp sales increase in Marine Snow Catchers for carbon and nutrient cycle studies over the past few months.
The Marine Snow Catchers are large volume water samplers which possess separable top and bottom sections. These modular sections allow researchers to collect and characterise suspended and sinking particles in the water column, as the samplers are allowed sufficient time on deck following recovery to permit sinking particles and aggregates to collect in the bottom chamber before the overlying water is drawn off from the top portion. The bottom section can then be removed separately for recovery, study and analysis of the accumulated samples, which is aided by the flat-bottomed design of the chamber.
These samplers can facilitate a greater understanding of the export processes of the oceanic organic carbon and nutrient cycles, and can help to predict how these processes may change in the future.
The Snow Catchers can also provide an insight into the extent of oceanic microplastic in the water column, as the internal design of the sampler reduces turbulence and eliminates issues with pressure waves associated with towed net systems which can result in over/under reporting of concentrations.