DUSTCO is a 2-year project funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 796802. The project is hosted by MARE-FCiências.ID at the University of Lisbon, in close collaboration with the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ) and the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA-UAB). 



All the plankton and sediment trap material collected across the tropical North Atlantic (12º N) available for DUSTCO was collected in the framework of the projects NWO-funded TRAFFIC and ERC-funded DUSTTRAFFIC, both conducted by the Royal NIOZ. These projects were based on a 3-year continuous sampling of Saharan dust in the atmosphere and  in the ocean, at a biweekly resolution, aiming at: 1) quantifying the seasonal variability of Saharan dust transport and export into the Atlantic; and 2) determining the impact of dust on marine phytoplankton in terms of potential fertilization and export of biomass to the deep ocean. Learn more about these projects at the NIOZ' dustiest webpage.

project ccp1: Aer­o­sol-in­duced feed­backs in the Earth sys­tem

Sediment trap material from site CB (21ºN) was collected as part of the Long-Term Mo­ni­to­ring Pro­gram off Cape Blanc (Mauritania, NW Africa) by the Center for Marine Environmental Sciences (MARUM) and the Uni­ver­si­ty of Bre­men, embedded in the Project CCP1 (Aerosol-Induced Feedbacks in the Earth System). Ex­port flu­xes and par­ti­cle dy­na­mics have been stu­di­ed in this re­gi­on sin­ce 1988 (see Fi­scher et al. 2016), whereas CCP1 is especially interested in understanding the transport processes of Saharan dust and bringing new insights about its impact on marine environmental and biogeochemical processes. Learn more about this fantastic sampling site here.

Atlantic Meridional Transect (AMT)

The Atlantic Meridional Transect (AMT) is a multidisciplinary programme funded by the NERC's National Capability and hosted by the Plymouth Marine Laboratory. The programme is focused on producing a unique time-series (1995 - 2018) of biological, chemical and oceanographic observations of the entire Atlantic Ocean, to validate models addressing questions related to the global carbon cycle (read more about it here). 

iFADO Project

iFADO (Innovation in the Framework of the Atlantic Deep Ocean) is a transnational project hosted by the Portuguese Instituto Superior Técnico and funded by the European Interreg Atlantic Area program, aiming at developing new marine services to support the Marine Strategy Framework Directive implementation. MARE-FCiências.ID is one of the project members, committed to use remote sensing products to derive phytoplankton biomass, for which the identification of species at the microscope and estimation of phytoplankton groups by HPLC will be a major calibration task. Our findings from the tropical North Atlantic will certainly contribute to this goal. Read more about iFADO here.

Climate Change initiative (CCI-ESA)

An important part of DUSTCO will rely on atmospheric, hydrological and biological parameters obtained from satellite remote sensing, not only to provide a term of comparison but also a spatio-temporal framework to interpret our in situ observations. The impressive database made available by the   Climate Change Initiative programme (CCI) will contribute to this purpose. CCI was created by the European Space Agency (ESA) with the aim of realising the full potential of the long-term global Earth Observation archives that ESA and its Member states have built over the last 30 years, to fulfil the need for reliable and long-term ocean and climate data on the face of climate change. Read more here.