First GEOTRACES Summer School: Just Excellent!

The first GEOTRACES Summer School was held from 20th to 26th August 2017 in Brest, France. The summer school aimed at teaching the skills and knowledge necessary for a good understanding of the biogeochemical cycles of trace metals. It brought together 60 students and 26 world-leading international scientists.

Throughout the week, a combination of lectures, practical sessions in the laboratory, poster and drop-in sessions were held. The practical sessions included: mass spectrometry (MC-ICPMS, MC TI-MS and HR-ICP-MC), modeling, Ocean Data View, voltametry, flow injection analysis, and sampling and sample handling. The programme is available to download here

SS 021 logo  2017 SS 016 2017 SS 061 lab 

The summer school was an absolute success allowing PhD students and early career researchers to see how their work fits within the international community of GEOTRACES, as well as, permitting them to build a network of collaborations that will help them in their careers. 

THANKS to the organising committee, Hélène Planquette, Thomas Gorgues, Geraldine Sarthou, Aurélie Pinna and Nadine Reniers, the Scientific Committee, the sponsors (LabexMER and SCOR) and all the lecturers who made this summer school possible!

GEOTRACES plans to organise another summer school in 2019... More information will be available in due time.

 2017 SS 022

 2017 GEOTRACES Summer School Participants

Four IMPORTANT announcements linked to IDP2017


Dear colleagues,

We have four important announcements linked to the recently released Intermediate Data Product (IDP) 2017, some of which may affect your data, so please read carefully:

1. During the preparation of IDP2017 the names of GEOTRACES parameters and cruises were formalised. These are available at the following link:  We ask for investigators to use these conventions during the future submission of data and intercalibration reports where possible to facilitate activities associated with the management of GEOTRACES data.

2. GEOTRACES has decided to release an update to its recent 2017 Intermediate Data Product in conjunction with a Townhall on Wednesday the 14 February 2018 at the 2018 Ocean Sciences meeting in Portland (USA). This version of the IDP2017 v2 will be focused on including data approved by the standards and intercalibration committee but not processed in time for inclusion in the IDP2017 v1.

3. The release of IDP2017 v2 provides an opportunity to fix any errors/omissions in the v1 of IDP2017. To facilitate this, we ask all investigators to examine the IDP2017 v1 and report any errors or omissions to  and  by the 15th of December 2017. We draw attention to the fact that users should focus on the actual IDP2017 digital datasets (available at: or the webODV extractor (available at:, rather than the web-based site, which only presents a subset of the IDP2017 data.

4. There may be errors in IDP2017 associated with the data quality flags that we would like you to check in your data. Data sets that were processed at GDAC “mapped” the flag schemes you might have used to the IODE flag scheme that is used in IDP2017:

1 Good:  Passed documented required QC tests

2 Not evaluated, not available or unknown: Used for data when no QC test performed or the information on quality is not available

3 Questionable/suspect: Failed non-critical documented metric or subjective test(s)

4 Bad: Failed critical documented QC test(s) or as assigned by the data provider

9 Missing data: Used as place holder when data are missing

Since your IDP2017 data passed the S&I review, it should have flag 1, unless you specified a flag that would correspond with flag 2, 3, 4, or 9. Because the IODE scheme does not have a flag for “Below Detection Limit” (BDL), data that were reported as BDL were mapped in IDP2017 to appear as zero values with flag 2. Please check that any data you reported as BDL shows in IDP2017 as zero values with flag 2. Please also check all other flags in your data to make sure they were mapped as closely as possible to the IODE flag scheme.

Thank you for your support of the GEOTRACES program,

Andrew Bowie, William Landing and Alessandro Tagliabue
Co-chairs, GEOTRACES Data Management Committee

GEOTRACES Town Halls at 2018 Ocean Sciences Meeting

Release of new GEOTRACES Data Product

Wednesday, February 14, 2018, 12:45 PM - 01:45 PM
Oregon Convention Center - D137-D138

2018 Ocean Sciences Meeting
(Portland, Oregon, USA,

GEOTRACES, an international study of the marine biogeochemical cycles of trace elements and their isotopes, has released its second data product (IDP2017).  The new data product expands greatly on the first collection of results released in 2014 in two important ways: 1) by adding a substantial body data from new cruises and 2) by adding additional datasets not available in the 2014 data product from cruises across the five world Oceans (e.g. aerosols, isotopes and biological parameters that support the emerging BioGEOTRACES initiative). This expanded set of parameters available in the IDP2017, ranging across micronutrients, contaminants, radioactive and stable isotopes and a broad suite of hydrographic parameters used to trace water masses provides an unprecedented means to understand the role of trace elements in shaping the functioning of the Ocean system.  We invite everyone to this town hall to learn about accessing IDP2017 and how it can be used for interdisciplinary research and teaching applications:

Organizers: Robert F Anderson, Columbia University of New York; Alessandro Tagliabue, University of Liverpool; Gregory A Cutter, Old Dominion University and Maria Teresa Maldonado, University of British Columbia.

IDP2017 logo


Developing a framework for trace element, isotope, and other biogeochemical research in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea

Tuesday, February 13, 2018, 12:45 PM - 01:45 PM

Oregon Convention Center - D137-D138

2018 Ocean Sciences Meeting
(Portland, Oregon, USA,

In addition to their dynamical influence on the formation of the Gulf Stream, the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea are strongly affected by continental margin processes such as major river inputs and significant submarine groundwater discharges. GEOTRACES studies have increasingly demonstrated the importance of ocean margins in affecting trace element and isotope (TEI) fluxes to the open ocean. Given the importance of these marginal fluxes for cycling of carbon and nutrients, the Gulf of Mexico has been a regional focus for recent OCB activities. However, these activities, as well as the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, have revealed major gaps in our understanding of how inputs to the shelf influence biogeochemical and biological processes in open waters, especially with regard to TEIs. Most such Gulf studies have focused on the Louisiana and West Florida shelves, with little attention to open waters and interactions with the Loop Current. The steering committees of US GEOTRACES and OCB are beginning a conversation devoted to TEI research in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean. We invite GEOTRACES, OCB, and other ocean scientists interested in these marginal seas to discuss processes of interest, existing programs and data sets, and potential steps forward.

Organizers: Alan M Shiller, University of Southern Mississippi; Heather M Benway, Woods Hole Oceanographic Inst.; Robert F Anderson, Columbia University & Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory; Angela N Knapp, Florida State University; Benjamin S Twining, Bigelow Lab for Ocean Sciences and Kristen N Buck, University of South Florida.


Inviting submissions to Chemical Geology Special Edition


On behalf of the Guest Editors, we now invite submissions to a GEOTRACES Chemical Geology Special Edition "Cycles of trace elements and isotopes in the ocean – GEOTRACES and beyond..."

Guest Editors: Tim Conway, Tristan Horner, Yves Plancherel and Aridane González.

This Special Volume is designed to showcase the quality and quantity of exciting new ideas and data in our field, highlighting the international and interdisclipinary nature of the GEOTRACES program. We welcome and encourage submissions of papers dealing with all aspects of chemical oceanography and marine geochemistry concerning the trace elements and their isotopes, from both the GEOTRACES program and the wider community.

All papers will go through the normal peer-review process and be published online following acceptance, with later collection into a virtual special edition.

Submission is now open and will end 28th Feb 2018. To submit your manuscript, please do so in the normal way at Chemical Geology ( but please make sure you select VSI: ConwayGEOTRACES as the article type, otherwise it will be not be associated with the Special Edition.

Please note that prior submission of a title to the proposal for this Special Edition or communication with the editors is not required for submission of a manuscript; we welcome and encourage all manuscript submissions!

Feel free to contact me with any questions (


Tim Conway

Guest Editor, Chemical Geology.

GEOTRACES SSC meeting held in Brazil

The GEOTRACES Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) and Data Management Committee (DMC) meetings were held from 16-20 September in Salvador, Brazil. The meetings were hosted by Vanessa Hatje from Universidade Federal da Bahia.  The review of the second GEOTRACES Intermediate Data Product (IDP2017) released in August 2017 (Goldschmidt 2017, Paris, France) was a major topic for discussion along with the plans for future release of data. 

2017 SSC Brazil Meeting l

Picture: 2017 GEOTRACES Scientific Steering Committee members.



The community needs to develop consensus values for the GEOTRACES standards GSP (2009 GEOTRACES Pacific surface seawater) and GSC (2009 GEOTRACES coastal surface seawater), since we have no samples left to send out for the original consensus materials.   For those of you who have received GSC and GSP, please report those values to Jim Moffett at  These reported values are held in confidence by Moffett but are vital for our community.

If you require GSC and GSP samples, please email Moffett with a request.  To save time, include a Fedex account number with your initial request. If you prefer DHL, please set up the shipment from your end (Moffett will provide you with pickup instructions) and email Moffett a copy of the DHL Waybill with bar code.

While there is no charge for the samples themselves, they were costly to procure. Receipt constitutes an obligation to report values.

Further information can be found at the following GEOTRACES web pages:

 Data Product (IDP2017)


 Data Assembly Centre (GDAC)


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