The core parameters – Filtration as a mission!


We (the girls from the filtration lab) are one team of several here at Espeland Marine Station near Bergen. We produce data that are the baseline for many other experiments conducted in this facility – oh dear!

But what is filtration all about? Just imagine: we basically do the same everyone does in the morning at home when making coffee. We pour a defined amount of water through a filter with a known pore size. The only difference is, we don’t want the coffee at the end, we want the coffee grounds. This is as easy as it sounds, unless the technical devices that we use decide to freak out. This hasn’t kept us, however, from our mission to measure the core parameters that might be crucial for others when it comes to analyzing the data.

Core parameters are for example chlorophyll concentration and transparent exopolymer particles (TEP). Chlorophyll is contained in photosynthetic organisms, like phytoplankton (algae), and the concentration tells us a story about how much of it is roughly in the water at the moment.

TEP consist of polysaccharides and are produced by phytoplankton cells. They can release TEP in large amounts into the water, especially after phytoplankton blooms. It is important for carbon sequestration in the deep sea and the formation of marine snow. 

So much for that. For anyone who is interested how our daily life looks like, check out our timelapse video:


Verena Kalter & Véronique Merten