ConcepTest: Ocean Element Profiles - 2

Jenny Fisher, University of Wollongong Australia, jennyf AT uow DOT edu DOT au
Questions used in MARE200 Introduction to Oceanography (2nd year undergraduate).


Which element could have a depth profile in the ocean that looks like this?

A. It probably has a source from the atmosphere
B. It is probably an essential nutrient for phytoplankton 
C. It probably has a source from ocean sediments

Student Responses:

If you would like to help acquire more Before and After statistics for this example, please contact the author.

No data yet. The correct responses are A and C. The elevated surface concentrations are indicative of a surface source, probably the atmosphere (A), and although it is scavenged at mid-depths the elevated deep concentrations may indicate a sediment source (C). Phytoplankton utilization (B) would leave to surface depletion, not seen. This question assumes a clicker system that allows multiple simultaneous responses.

References and Notes:

Sarmiento, J.L. & N. Gruber (2006) Ocean Biogeochemical Dynamics. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 528 pp.