The marine biogeochemical cycles of trace elements – a study of the oceans
Which processes regulate the biogeochemical cycles in the ocean? This is the big question researchers from around the world try to unlock in the international research program GEOTRACES. The author participated in three GEOTRACES cruises.
The research ship R/V Knorr had just arrived at a new station, and I was busy making our equipment ready to collect water samples. This would be the first of 2-3 casts in shallow, medium and deep water, respectively, which we performed at each station. My job on board was to keep log and put numbers on the special “GoFlo bottles” for collecting water samples, and generally ensure that the equipment was ready to go over the side of the ship and into the deep. When the equipment had reached the projected depth, I should in agreement with the chief scientist “fire” the GoFlo bottles via a computer program, collecting the water samples. After every cast there was work to do in the ship’s analytical laboratory where I analyzed water samples from the upper 200 m for nutrients. Transecting between stations work continued, because every four hours a surface water sample was collected and analyzed for nutrients as well.
Sleep? No, that was not much. But exciting and challenging – that it was!
In the world of trace elements
The reason why I was on-board the research vessel R/V Knorr was due to my job in chief scientist Dr. Cutter’s biogeochemical lab in the United States. The cruise was part of the international research program GEOTRACES that in brief is to investigate the marine biogeochemical cycles of trace elements and their isotopes….