GEOTRACES Intermediate Data Product 2021


GEOTRACES is releasing the third version of its intermediate data product (IDP2021) gathering hydrographic and marine geochemical data acquired on 77 cruises and expanding considerably the collection of results released in 2017.

The IDP2021 contains trace elements that serve as micronutrients, tracers of continental sources to the ocean (e.g., aerosols and boundary exchange), contaminants (e.g., Pb and Hg), radioactive and stable isotopes used in paleoceanography and a broad suite of hydrographic parameters used to trace water masses, as well as, it provides biological data.

By releasing the IDP2021, GEOTRACES aims to intensify collaboration within the broader ocean research community but also seeking feedback from the community to help us improve future data products.

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>>> The IDP2021 was released on 17 November 2021, you can view the recording of the release event here >>>

The Product

The IDP2021 consists of two parts:

(1) the digital data and
(2) the eGEOTRACES Electronic Atlas

In addition, the webODV tool allows analysis, exploration and visualisation of these data.

The digital data (available at for bulk download AND to download subsets of data) contains hydrographic and biogeochemical data from 77 cruises. The data covers the global ocean.

Data Access: The data is available to download in 3 formats: csv ASCII, NetCDF and as Ocean Data View collections. In addition, analysis, exploration and visualisation of these data without download it is possible by using the webODV tool.

>> The video available on the right explains how to work with IDP2021 data using webODV tool.

Click on the image to view the tutorial video “Working with IDP2021 and WebODV”, by Phoebe Lam. Download the slides of this presentation here.

The eGEOTRACES Electronic Atlas (available at is based on the digital data package and provides section plots and animated 3D scenes for many of the parameters, allowing quick overviews of the occurrence of geochemically relevant tracers. The 3D scenes provide geographical context crucial for correctly assessing extent and origin of tracer plumes as well as for inferring processes acting on the tracers and shaping their distribution. The numerous links to other tracers, sections and basins found on section plots and 3D animations allow quick switching between parameters and domains and facilitate comparative studies. In addition, eGEOTRACES can help in teaching and outreach activities and can also facilitate conveying societally relevant scientific results to interested laymen or decision makers.

Usage: Users select parameters, cruise tracks and ocean basins using list-boxes and interactive maps. eGEOTRACES then presents parameter distributions along the selected sections, or animated 3D scenes showing parameter distributions along all available sections in the selected basin.

A special effort has been made to link information about data originator, original publications and analytical methods with every data value. Proper linkage to and prominent display of originator information is used throughout the IDP2021 and considered important to provide credit to data producers.

To learn more you can view the videos below introducing the IDP2021, more videos are available here:

GEOTRACES IDP2021: What does it include and how can it be accessed, by Reiner Schlitzer. Download the slides here.
Linking Trace Metal and Isotope (TEI) and Genomics Data by Maite Maldonado. Download the slides here.

Massive increase of data available…

The GEOTRACES IDP2021 represents a significant expansion in data available compared to the previous version released in 2017. The product contains now data from 77 cruises and 3191 stations (highlighted in red in the central map of the figure below) compared to 23 cruises and 1866 stations in 2017 (highlighted in blue on the map below).

The case of iron

The figure below also presents 3D scenes showing the distribution of dissolved iron (DFe) in the Atlantic, Arctic, Indian and Pacific Oceans. The new product adds new data in the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean basins. More spectacular is the considerable amount of new data displayed in the Indian and Arctic Ocean 3D scenes. All together, these data allow a global ocean view of hydrothermal iron inputs along oceanic ridges as well of the release of DFe from sediments along the coasts (along the African, South American, Asian and Peruvian coasts).

*Note: all 3D scenes figures in this page follow the same colour code: warm colours (red, orange, etc.) indicate high concentrations

© Schlitzer, Reiner, eGEOTRACES – Electronic Atlas of GEOTRACES Sections and Animated 3D Scenes,, 2021.

GEOTRACES IDP2021 Fair Use Agreement and citation

The GEOTRACES IDP2021 is released under the Creative Commons By Attribution (CC-BY) Licence 4.0 as described in the Fair Use Agreement.

Please cite the IDP2021 as:

GEOTRACES Intermediate Data Product Group (2021). The GEOTRACES Intermediate Data Product 2021 (IDP2021). NERC EDS British Oceanographic Data Centre NOC. DOI: 10.5285/cf2d9ba9-d51d-3b7c-e053-8486abc0f5fd .

IDP related helpful tools

A page listing helpful tools developed by IDP users and that the developers are willing to make them available to other users is available here.

Links for previous GEOTRACES IDP versions and historical TEI data