Ocean Optics:
Observing ocean biogeochemistry with optics

Why Measure Particle Size Distribution?

Knowledge of particulate size distribution is fundamental to the study of particle dynamics in the aquatic environment. Fundamental properties of particles such as their settling speeds, and surface area to volume ratio (which control nutrient flux and dissolution rate) depend strongly on a particle size. Interactions between particles, such as when particles aggregate and in prey-predator interaction are often even strongly dependent on size. In short, to better understand and model ecological and sedimentological processes a detailed knowledge of the particulate size distribution is needed.

Methods for Measuring PSD

PSD data was collected at the Class Dock Observatory and during shipboard transects in the Damariscotta River. Methods for measuring PSD include Coulter Counter and LISST.