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GEOTRACES Western Pacific Regional Workshop

25 August 2005 - 27 August 2005

GEOTRACES Western Pacific Regional Workshop
Dates: 25 – 27 August 2005

Location: Xiamen, China

Website of the Workshophttp://mel.xmu.edu.cn/meeting/meeting0508/General_Information.htm



Developing a full understanding of the distribution and biogeochemical behavior of trace elements and their isotopes (TEIs) in seawater has the potential to provide unique insights into a wide range of oceanic processes. It will provide, for instance, understanding of the role that limiting micronutrients play in regulating ecosystem structure and oceanic production, and it will elucidate the mechanisms controlling the fate of contaminants added to the ocean by human activities. Certain TEIs, particularly natural radionuclides, can also be exploited to constrain rates of key processes regulating the marine carbon cycle. Other TEIs provide valuable insight into the mean velocity field and mixing processes in the ocean on timescales that are not readily amenable to direct measurements by more conventional methods. Furthermore, TEI distributions in marine sediments and other geological archives yield vital clues about an array of environmental conditions in the past (e.g., ocean productivity, circulation patterns and rates, ecosystems structure, continental weathering, hydrothermal activity, ocean anoxia, etc.). 

Recent advances in clean sampling protocols and in analytical techniques provide unprecedented capabilities for measuring a wide range of TEIs in the ocean. The potential afforded by these new advances has, however, not yet been fully realized, in large part because of a lack of coordinated research efforts in this area of biogeochemistry since the GEOSECS program in the early 1970s. With the definition of an increasing number of high priority research questions, and the availability of analytical methodologies that permit sampling at higher spatial and temporal density, the community of marine biogeochemists believes that the time is right to mount a major international research program to study the global marine biogeochemical cycles of trace elements and their isotopes. As such, an international program to study the marine biogeochemical cycles of trace elements and isotopes (GEOTRACES) is under active planning. 

In the above overall context, a regional workshop is planned to be held between August 25-27 in Xiamen, China. The themes of the workshop are sought to be: 

  • To examine the potential to form a China National Geotraces program
  • To examine the potential to form an Asian regional Geotraces network
  • To determine the scope of a China National Geotraces program
  • To examine the mechanism of regional and international collaboration within the scope of Geotraces
  • To discuss a “roadmap” to implement Chinese/regional country’s Geotraces program including the potential for an open ocean transect 
  • To launch a Chinese Geotraces program, emphasis would be placed initially on coastal research relying on existing strength. Some of the Geotraces objectives can benefit from ongoing time-series coastal transects such as: 
    • 1) P/N transect in the East China Sea. Potential questions to examine include river sources under anthropogenic forcing (dams) and contribution from Asian dust. 
    • 2) P/D transect (from Pearl River to Dongsha island) in the South China Sea as well as time series station such as SEATS (South East Asian Time Series Station) in the South China Sea (SCS). SCS is oligotrphic,encompassing a shelf and a deep basin (upper to 5000 m) Potentially important issues include paleo proxies, export production in the overall context of carbon cycles, micronutrients and its influences on primary productivity (impact from Asian dust?) and on nitrogen fixation (a potential site with significant N fixation). SCS is also a good test site for paleo-studies and TEIs have every power to tackle such questions.

At this stage, China will seek international assistance and collaboration to develop infrastructures and basic techniques in particularly clean techniques that are essential for trace element and isotope studies. 

China Geotraces program will be exploring possibilities for open ocean research, especially the possibility of involving research vessels such as Snow Dragon, Ocean #1, DongFangHong # 2. There is a potential that Chinese Academics of Science will be sponsoring such open cruises that will provide sampling platforms for China and international Geotraces program.


The Agenda of the workshop is available to download.



The Abstracts of the Workshop are available to download.


Participant List

The participant list is available to download.


Other information

Visit the Workshop website for further information.


25 August 2005
27 August 2005
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