Blog Post Image: Scientists solve a 14,000-year-old ocean mystery

WHOI associate scientist Phoebe Lam pulls the Northwest Pacific sediment core GGC-37 from the WHOI core repository. The core offers a look at the layers of rock, sediment, and organic materials that have accumulated on the ocean floor for thousands of years. A layer of opal and calcium carbonate—the key component of the shells of phytoplankton and foraminifera, a tiny amoeba-like ocean dweller—dating back about 14,000 years indicates a period of intense biological productivity at the end of the last Ice Age. Lam and her colleagues set out to test whether this biological bloom was caused by an influx of iron. (Photo by Ken Kostel, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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