Pandora cruise (GEOTRACES section GP12) will depart from Nouméa (New Caledonia) on June 28th and return to on August 6th. Onboard the French oceanographic vessel ATALANTE, there will be 29 scientists, mainly from France (mostly from LEGOS-Toulouse), and the US.
The equatorial Pacific climate variability at decadal scales may depend on anomalies of the properties of water masses transported from the large subtropical gyres towards the Equator. To test this hypothesis, during 40 days, the Pandora cruise will sail to document the physical and geochemical properties of the different jets that are flowing from the South East Pacific and diverging towards the North, through the Coral and Solomon Seas. Pandora will more specifically target the Solomon Sea, where the waters brought by these jets are strongly mixing and get enriched in micro-nutrients by contact with the numerous islands and continental margins in this area.
In the framework of the GEOTRACES International Programme, Pandora will target to quantify the land-ocean exchanges yielding these enrichments, which are then transported further toward the equatorial “cold tongue” through the Equatorial Under Current.
Figure: Pandora’s cruise track.
PI: Gérard Eldin, LEGOS (Toulouse, France)
GEOTRACES Scientist: Catherine Jeandel (LEGOS, Toulouse, France)