Wilford Gardner

Wilford Gardner

Professor Emeritus

Geological Oceanography: Particle Dynamics; Sediment Transport



  • Dynamics and biogeochemistry of marine particles - microns to macroaggregates
  • Bio-optics and hydrodynamics
  • Remote sensing and particulate organic carbon (POC)
  • Sediment transport in the ocean from the continental shelf to the deep sea
  • Nepheloid layers and benthic storms in the ocean

Selected Publications

  • Lerner, P., O. Marchal, P. Lam, W.D. Gardner, A.V. Mishonov, M.J. Richardson, 2020. A Model Study of the Relative Influences of Scavenging and Circulation on 230Th and 231Pa in the western North Atlantic. Deep-Sea Research I, Volume 155, January 2020, 103159. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr.2019.103159  
  • John, Seth, Hengdi Liang; Tom Weber; Tim DeVries; Francois Primeau; Keith Moore; Mark Holzer; Natalie Mahowald; Wilford Gardner; Alexey Mishonov; Mary Jo Richardson; Yannice Faugere; Guillaume Taburet, AWESOME OCIM: A simple, flexible, and powerful tool for modeling elemental cycling in the oceans, 2020. Chemical Geology. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemgeo.2019.119403 
  • Gardner, W.D., M.J. Richardson, A.V. Mishonov, P.E. Biscaye, 2018. Global comparison of Benthic Nepheloid Layers Based on 52 years of Nephelometer and Transmissometer Measurements. Progress in Oceanography, 168, 100-111. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pocean.2018.09.008
  • Gardner, W.D., A.V. Mishonov, M.J. Richardson, 2018. Decadal Comparisons of Particulate Matter in Repeat Transects in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Ocean Basins,  Geophysical Research Letters https://doi.org/10.1002/2017GL076571 
  • Gardner, W.D., M.J. Richardson, A.V. Mishonov. Global Assessment of Benthic Nepheloid Layers and Linkage with Upper Ocean Dynamics.  Earth and Planetary Science Letters 482 (2018) 126–134 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2017.11.008 
  • Gardner, W.D., B.E. Tucholke, M.J. Richardson, and P.E. Biscaye. Benthic storms, nepheloid layers, and linkage with upper ocean dynamics in the Western North Atlantic.  Invited Review article, 2016, Marine Geology, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.margeo.2016.12.012
  • Boss, E., Guidi, L., Richardson, M.J., Stemmann, L., Gardner, W., Bishop, J.K.B., Anderson, R.F., Sherrell, R.M., Optical techniques for remote and in-situ characterization of particles pertinent to GEOTRACES, Progress in Oceanography (2015), doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pocean.2014.09.007      
  • Karageorgis A., Georgopoulos D., Gardner W.D., Mikkelsen, O.A., Velaoras D., How schlieren affects beam transmissometers and LISST-Deep: an example from the stratified Danube River delta, NW Black Sea, 2015. Mediterranean Marine Science, 16/2, 366-372. DOI: 10.12681/mms.1116   http://www.medit-mar-sc.net/index.php/marine/article/view/1116
  • Karageorgis, A.P., Gardner, W.D., Mikkelsen, O.A., Georgopoulos, D., Ogston, A.S., Assimakopoulou, G., Krasakopoulou, E., Oaie, Gh., Secrieru, D., Kanellopoulos, Th.D., Pagou, K., Anagnostou, Ch., Papathanassiou, E., 2014. Particle sources over the Danube River Delta, Black Sea based on distribution, composition and size using optics, imaging and bulk analyses, Journal of Marine Systems, 131, 74–90.
  • Son, Y.B. and W.D. Gardner, 2011. Climatalogical variability of surface particulate organic carbon (POC) and physical processes based on ocean color data in the Gulf of Mexico. Korean Journal of Remote Sensing, 27(3), 235-258.
  • Son, Y.B. and W.D. Gardner, 2010. Determining spatial and temporal variations of surface particulate organic carbon (POC) using in situ measurements and remote sensing data in the Northeastern Gulf of Mexico during El Niño and La Niña. The Sea, Journal of the Korean Society of Oceanography, 15 (2), 51-61.
  • Nianzhi, J., Zhang, Y., Zeng, Y., W.D. Gardner, M. J. Richardson and A.V. Mishonov and others, 2007. Early Impacts of the Three Gorges Dam on the East China Sea Ecosystem, Water Research, 41: 1287-1293.
  • Gardner, W. D. and Y. Zhang, 1997. The effect of brine on the collection efficiency of cylindrical sediment traps, J. of Mar. Res. 55: 1029-1048.
  • Gardner, W. D., Biscaye, P. E. and Richardson, M. J., 1997. A Sediment trap Experiment in the Vema Channel to Evaluate the Effect of Horizontal Particle Fluxes on Measured Vertical Fluxes. J. of Mar. Res. 55: 995-1028.
  • Gardner, W. D. and M. J. Richardson, 1992. Particle export and resuspension fluxes in the western North Atlantic. In: Deep-Sea Food Chains and the Global Carbon Cycle, NATO Advanced Research Workshop, G. T. Rowe and V. Pariente (eds.), Kluwer Academic Publishers, Netherlands, p. 339-364.
  • Gardner, W. D., M. J. Richardson, I. D. Walsh, and B. L. Berglund, 1990. In-situ optical sensing of particles for determination of oceanic processes: what satellites can't see, but transmissometers can. Oceanography 3:11-17.


Selected Earlier Papers

  • Gardner, W. D., 1989. Periodic resuspension in Baltimore Canyon by focusing of internal waves. Jour. Geophys. Res. 94:18185-18194.
  • U.S. GOFS Planning Report Number 10, 1989. Sediment trap technology and sampling. Report of the U.S. GOFS Working Group on Sediment Trap Technology and Sampling, November 1988.
  • Gardner, W. D., 1989. Baltimore Canyon as a modern conduit of sediment to the deep sea. Deep-Sea Res. 36:323-358.
  • Gardner, W. D., M. J. Richardson and D. A. Cacchione, 1989. Sedimentological effects of strong southward flow in the Straits of Florida. Mar. Geol. 86:155-180.
  • Richardson, M. J., P. E. Biscaye, W. D. Gardner and N. G. Hogg, 1987. Suspended particulate matter transport through the Vema Channel.  Mar. Geol. 77:171-184
  • Gardner, W. D., P. E. Biscaye, J. R. V. Zaneveld and M. J. Richardson, 1985. Calibration and comparison of the LDGO nephelometer and the OSU transmissometer on the Nova Scotian Rise. Mar. Geol. 66:323-344.
  • Gardner, W. D., J. B. Southard and C. D. Hollister, 1985. Sedimentation, resuspension and chemistry of particles in the northwest Atlantic. Mar. Geol. 65:199-242.
  • Richardson, M. J. and W. D. Gardner, 1985. Analysis of suspended-particle-size distribu­tions over the Nova Scotian continental rise.  Mar. Geol. 66:189-203.
  • Tucholke, B. E., C. D. Hollister, P. E. Biscaye and W. D. Gardner, 1985. Abyssal current character determined from sediment bedforms on the Nova Scotian continental rise.  Mar. Geol. 66:43-57.
  • Ducklow, H. W., S. M. Hill and W. D. Gardner, 1985. Bacterial growth and the decom­position of particulate organic carbon collected in sediment traps.  Cont. Shelf Res. 4:445-464.
  • Gardner, W. D., 1985. The effect of tilt on sediment trap efficiency. Deep-Sea Res. 32:349-361.
  • Gardner, W. D., J. K. B. Bishop and P. E. Biscaye, 1984. Nephelometer and current observations at the STIE site, Panama Basin. Jour. Mar. Res. 42:207-219.
  • Gardner, W. D., M. J. Richardson, K. R. Hinga and P. E. Biscaye, 1983. Resuspension measured with sediment traps in a high-energy environment. Earth and Planet. Sci. Lett. 66:262-278.
  • Gardner, W. D., K. R. Hinga and J. Marra, 1983. Observations on the degradation of biogenic material in the deep ocean with implications on accuracy of sediment trap fluxes. Jour. Mar. Res. 41:195-214.
  • Gardner, W. D., 1983. Suspended sediment transport in Baltimore Canyon and adjacent slope.  In: Canyon and Slope Processes Study, Vol. II, MMS Final Report, p. 135-241.
  • Gardner, W. D. and L. G. Sullivan, 1981. Benthic storms: Temporal variability in a deep ocean nepheloid layer.Science 213:329-331.
  • Dymond, J., K. Fischer, M. Clauson, R. Cobler, W. D. Gardner, M. J. Richardson, W. Berger, A. Soutar and R. Dunbar, 1981. A sediment trap intercomparison study in the Santa Barbara Basin.  Earth and Planet. Sci. Lett. 53:409-418.
  • McCave, I. N., P. F. Lonsdale, C. D. Hollister and W. D. Gardner, 1980. Sediment trans­port over the Hatton and Gardar contourite drifts.  Jour. Sed. Pet. 50:1049-1062.
  • Gardner, W. D., 1980. Field assessment of sediment traps. Jour. Mar. Res. 38:41-52.
  • Gardner, W. D., 1980. Sediment trap dynamics and calibration: a laboratory evaluation. Jour. Mar. Res. 38:17-39.
  • Rowe, G. T. and W. D. Gardner, 1979. Sedimentation rates in the slope waters of the northwest Atlantic Ocean measured directly with sediment traps.  Jour. Mar. Res. 37:581-600.
  • Gardner, W. D., 1977. Incomplete extraction of rapidly settling particles from water samplers. Limnol. and Oceanogr. 22:764-768.
  • Gardner, W.D., 1978. Fluxes, Dynamics and Chemistry of Particulates in the Ocean. PhD Dissertation, MIT/WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography. 405 pp.


Ph.D. Oceanography, Massachusetts Institute of Technology/ Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 1978

S.B. Earth and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1972

Additional Information

We are now synthesizing data from >8000 profiles to globally map and quantify the particle mass suspended in the bottom nepheloid (turbid) layer and examining forcing that causes episodic benthic storms in some parts of the ocean and not others.

We are also studying the role of river-borne and resuspended sediment on hypoxia along the Gulf of Mexico shelf.


  • Earl F. Cook Professor of Geosciences, 2010–2016
  • Study Abroad, Santa Chiara, Italy-Fall 2011
  • Fulbright Fellow - Athens, Greece 2009
  • Faculty Development Leave – Hellenic Center for Marine Research, Athens, Greece 2009
  • Head, Department of Oceanography, Texas A&M University, 2000–2005
  • Faculty Development Leave NOAA - PMEL, Seattle, Washington, 1996
  • Chair, Geological/Geophysical section, Oceanography, Texas A&M University, 1987–1995
  • Professor, Oceanography, Texas A&M University, 1990–present
  • Associate Professor, Oceanography, Texas A&M University, 1985–1990
  • Associate Research Scientist, Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory, Columbia University, 1983–1985
  • Research Associate, Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory, Columbia University, 1977–1983

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