All kind of cruises can nicely complement GEOTRACES sections: the example of a microbial/organic geochemistry cruise in the South East Atlantic

Elizabeth Kujawinski of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution will lead a cruise to study the molecular level composition of dissolved organic material together with several variables pertaining to microbial ecology along a track that parallels the GEOTRACES GA02 section in the tropical and South Atlantic Ocean (see map below). The cruise, aboard the R/V Knorr from 25 March to 9 May 2013 (KN210-04), will reoccupy a number of GEOTRACES stations.



Map comparing the track of GA02 (blue) with the cruise aboard the Knorr (black). GA02 was occupied in 2010 and 2011 by the Netherlands GEOTRACES programme.

For more information about the cruise (KN210-04) please contact: Elizabeth Kujawinski

This cruise is of value to GEOTRACES in that it offers an opportunity to define temporal variability of hydrographic features along a principal GEOTRACES section. More intriguing, perhaps, is the unprecedented opportunity to compare spatial relationships that may exist between molecular and microbial variables and the trace elements studied by GEOTRACES. Other programmes investigating ocean biogeochemistry are similarly encouraged to follow GEOTRACES cruise tracks as a step toward developing a more formal exploration of chemical-biological coupling in the ocean.

The assessment of temporal variability along GA02 can be extended further by incorporating historical data from a cruise in 2002 (see map below) led by Ed Boyle, co-chair of the GEOTRACES SSC. As GEOTRACES moves toward a phase of greater synthesis and modeling, it will be valuable to identify cruises such as this to aid in interpreting results from the GEOTRACES sections.




Map showing stations occupied in 2002 during cruise EN367 to study lead and lead isotopes in the tropical and South Atlantic Ocean.