GEOTRACES SSC meeting held in Brazil

The GEOTRACES Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) and Data Management Committee (DMC) meetings were held from 16-20 September in Salvador, Brazil. The meetings were hosted by Vanessa Hatje from Universidade Federal da Bahia.  The review of the second GEOTRACES Intermediate Data Product (IDP2017) released in August 2017 (Goldschmidt 2017, Paris, France) was a major topic for discussion along with the plans for future release of data. 

2017 SSC Brazil Meeting l

Picture: 2017 GEOTRACES Scientific Steering Committee members.



The community needs to develop consensus values for the GEOTRACES standards GSP (2009 GEOTRACES Pacific surface seawater) and GSC (2009 GEOTRACES coastal surface seawater), since we have no samples left to send out for the original consensus materials.   For those of you who have received GSC and GSP, please report those values to Jim Moffett at  These reported values are held in confidence by Moffett but are vital for our community.

If you require GSC and GSP samples, please email Moffett with a request.  To save time, include a Fedex account number with your initial request. If you prefer DHL, please set up the shipment from your end (Moffett will provide you with pickup instructions) and email Moffett a copy of the DHL Waybill with bar code.

While there is no charge for the samples themselves, they were costly to procure. Receipt constitutes an obligation to report values.

Further information can be found at the following GEOTRACES web pages:

The GEOTRACES Intermediate Data Product 2017 is available!!!

The second GEOTRACES Intermediate Data Product (IDP2017) was successfully released on 16 August 2017 at the Goldschmidt 2017 Conference in Paris. More than 350 persons attended the launch event!

The new product includes hydrographical and biogeochemical data from 39 cruises across all five ocean basins. More than 280 scientists have contributed data from 46794 samples to the product. In total 458 parameters are included in the new product ranging across micronutrients, contaminants, and radioactive and stable isotopes of trace elements. An exciting novelty in regard to the first data product released in 2014 is that it also includes biological, aerosols and rain parameters. 

During the launch event Phoebe Lam (University of California, Santa Cruz, USA) and Reiner Schlitzer (AWI, Bremerhaven, Germany) presented an overview of the GEOTRACES programme and the new data product. Six very interesting short-talks introducing science highlights of GEOTRACES data closed the event. The talks are available to download here. A USB memory card containing the eGEOTRACES Atlas was distributed to all participants.

Download the IDP2017 and use it!

IDP2017 2 low  IDP2017 low 

Figure: GEOTRACES Intermediate Data Product release event at Goldschmidt 2017.

GEOTRACES Sessions at 2018 Ocean Sciences Meeting

2018 Ocean Sciences Meeting

(11-16 February 2018, Portland, Oregon, USA,

The deadline for abstract submission is 6 September 2017, 11:59 P.M. EDT.

GEOTRACES and GEOTRACES-relevant sessions:

The Behavior of Trace Elements and Isotopes in Different Ocean Basins: New Insights from Comparisons and Contrasts
Session ID#: 28118

Session Description:

Recent international programs such as GEOTRACES have been examining the biogeochemical cycling of trace elements and isotopes (TEIs) in the world’s oceans to reveal the mechanisms and rates affecting their concentrations, distributions, chemical forms, and interactions with organisms. In addition to studies by individual investigators, the accumulating results show many similarities, but some surprising differences between ocean basins, with a classic example being the regionally-specific Cd/PO4 relationships. In the same way that deviations from the Redfield ratio of N/P between ocean basins, known since the 1970s GEOSECS program, provide insight into nitrogen cycle processes, what can we learn from the comparisons and contrasts of TEIs, and what tools are needed to explore and test these observations? This session seeks presentations from the observational and modeling communities on lessons learned from inter basin TEI data sets with respect to inputs to, cycling within, and exports from the world’s oceans. In addition we invite contributions that consider how TEI distributions, their chemical speciation, and interactions with micro-organisms shape microbial community structure and productivity in various ocean basins.

Primary Chair:  Gregory A Cutter, Old Dominion University, Ocean, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Norfolk, VA, United States

Co-chairs:  Adrian Burd, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, United States, Jay Thomas Cullen, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada and Tung-Yuan Ho, Research Center for Environmental Changes Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan

Abiotic and Biotic Retention, Recycling, and Remineralization of Metals in the Ocean

Session ID#: 23502

Session Description:

Trace metals shape both the biogeochemical functioning and the biological structure of oceanic provinces, and considerable insight into trace metal distributions have been gleaned from international programs like GEOTRACES. To date, observational and modelling efforts have mainly focused on modes of external metal supply from different sources. While this has yielded important advances, we also know that metals undergo key internal transformations such as biotic uptake, scavenging, recycling, and remineralization.  These internal transformations play crucial roles in shaping the biogeochemical cycling of metals by governing their bioavailability, oceanic distributions, and residence times. In this session we solicit presentations that address key questions regarding the abiotic and biotic processes regulating (i) the retention timescale for metals in the upper ocean, (ii) surface ocean metal recycling and bioavailability, (iii) the subsurface regeneration length scales for metals in the ocean interior, and (iv) the role of mineral versus organic characteristics of sinking particles on metal scavenging.  We also seek presentations that provide insights into how these key questions are mediated by differing physico-chemical and microbial processes in contrasting ocean settings. Presentations showing insights from the diverse standpoints of biogeochemical oceanography and molecular ecology, from both observational and modelling perspectives, are strongly encouraged.

Primary Chair:  Philip W Boyd, University of Tasmania, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, Hobart, Australia

Co-chairs:  Kristen N Buck, University of South Florida Tampa, College of Marine Science, Tampa, FL, United States; University of South Florida, College of Marine Science, St. Petersburg, FL, United States, Jessica N Fitzsimmons, Texas A&M University, Department of Oceanography, United States and Alessandro Tagliabue, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom

The Dawn of BioGEOTRACES: Metal-Microbe Interactions in the Ocean

Session ID#: 27768

Session Description:

Trace metals are essential for life, catalysing key cellular reactions which then govern patterns of ocean fertility and biodiversity. Fundamental in this regard are the ways in which ocean microbes acquire essential metals and how biological activity is affected by metal availability. Developments in this field are being led by advances in analytical chemistry, nanotechnology, molecular biology, and bioinformatics, as well as the expansion of 'omics'-related observations of in-situ microbial communities, and the advent of new high resolution geochemical data from the international GEOTRACES program. It is now timely to bring together insights from these different disciplines, spanning observation and modelling approaches to better understand how microbial activity, diversity and ecology is shaped by interactions with trace metals over different space and time scales. By linking across disciplines, there is the potential to develop the mechanistic understanding required to inform the ecological and biogeochemical models we rely on for testing hypotheses and projecting the impacts of ocean change. We are specifically interested in contributions that address (i) metal uptake and competition between microbes for metal resources, (ii) how microbes adapt their physiology to metal scarcity and varied supply and (iii) how trace metals shape cellular function and evolution.

Primary Chair:  Adrian Marchetti, University of North Carolina, at Chapel Hill, Department of Marine Sciences, Chapel Hill, NC, United States

Co-chairs:  Maria Teresa Maldonado, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada, Alessandro Tagliabue, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom and Yeala Shaked, Hebrew University, Interuniversity Institute for Marine Sciences,, Eilat, Israel

Biogeochemical Processes Across Oxic-Anoxic Transitions

Session ID#: 28621

Session Description:

A suite of metabolically and chemically important oxidation-reduction reactions occur through the transitions from oxic to anoxic regions of the ocean. These reactions drive nutrient availability and metal solubility, as well as organic matter production, consumption, and preservation. As oxygen minimum and deficient zones expand, redox reactions in low to no oxygen environments are becoming globally more important, both for the nitrogen and carbon cycles and also for trace metals. Understanding such environments can provide an important analogue for ocean chemistry and microbial life in the Precambrian, prior to the great oxygenation events. This session seeks to bring together geochemical, biological, and physical scientists working on low oxygen and anoxic regions, in order to create an integrated picture of biogeochemistry in these environments. Presentations from observational, experimental, or modeling standpoints on nutrients, trace elements, dissolved gases, isotope systematics, microbiology, biological productivity, or physical drivers in these regions are all invited. We especially encourage submissions investigating the redox transition in the water column or sediments of restricted basins such as Saanich Inlet and the Black Sea, as well as GEOTRACES and open-ocean studies of settings such as the Eastern Tropical Pacific, North Atlantic, and Indian OMZs.

Primary Chair:  Jeffry V Sorensen, University of Victoria, School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Victoria, BC, Canada

Co-chairs:  Roberta Claire Hamme, University of Victoria, School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Victoria, BC, Canada and Tim M Conway, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, United States

Ocean Biogeochemistry and Air-Sea Interactions
Session ID#: 29651

Session Description:

Studies of ocean biogeochemistry related to air-sea interactions are providing significant new information to help us understand a wide variety of physical, chemical and biological processes in the oceans. There are many processes that link the surface ocean and the lower atmosphere, for example, the release of biogenic compounds as sources of cloud or ice condensation nuclei, the deposition of natural and anthropogenic aerosols that can affect plankton communities, the transport of airborne microbes that can alter the dynamics of proximal and distant ecosystems, the biology, chemistry and physics of the sea-surface microlayer (SML) as the interface through which all exchanges between the atmosphere and the ocean occur, the enrichment of surfactants and other biogenic compounds in the SML that can affect gas exchange rates, etc. Understanding these processes is crucial for improving the reliability of regional and global models and the evaluation of future scenarios. We welcome contributions on all aspects of the physics, chemistry, and biology of air-sea interactions, including observations, experimentation, methodological or technical developments, and theoretical and modeling efforts.

Primary Chair:  Francesc Peters, Institute of Marine Sciences (ICM, CSIC), Barcelona, Spain

Co-chairs:  William M Landing, Florida State University, Department of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science, Tallahassee, FL, United States, Oliver Wurl, Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg, Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment, Wilhelmshaven, Germany and Brian Ward, National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG), School of Physics, Galway, Ireland

An updated list of GEOTRACES relevant sessions at the 2018 Ocean Sciences Meeting is available at:

To submit an abstract please follow the instructions available here:

Three GEOTRACES cruises will be sailing simultaneously in the Atlantic, the Pacific and the Southern Ocean

Three national GEOTRACES programmes (Japan, UK and South Africa) will undertake GEOTRACES cruises in the coming months. The first cruise to leave port will be the Japanese cruise along the GEOTRACES Pacific section GP02. This section cruise will depart from Tokyo (Japan) on 23 June and arrive port in Vancouver (Canada) on 7 August. During the cruise, biogeochemical cycles of trace elements and isotopes (TEIs) will be investigated in the High-Nutrient, Low-Chlorophyll (HNLC) areas of the subarctic North Pacific and the Gulf of Alaska (see figure below).

The UK ZIPLOC cruise will sail in the tropical Atlantic Ocean. It will depart on 27 June from Guadeloupe (French overseas region) and return port on 13 August in Tenerife (Canary Islands). This cruise has been endorsed as GEOTRACES process study and it will investigate zinc, iron and phosphorus co-limitation in the ocean.

The South African GEOTRACES cruise on board the research vessel Angulhas II will depart from Cape Town (South Africa) on 29 June. During 15-days this GEOTRACES process study will navigate in the Indian sector of the Southern Ocean (30˚E line, see figure below) to study the sources, sinks and cycling of bioactive trace elements as well as the impact of the hydrothermal ridge on trace metal distribution and speciation. Follow this cruise at:

  • Japanese cruise chief scientist: Hajime Obata
  • UK cruise chief scientist: Claire Mahaffey  (GEOTRACES scientists: Maeve Lohan and Alessandro Tagliabue)
  • South African cruise chief scientist: Marcello Vichi (GEOTRACES scientist: Alakaendra Roychoudhury)

2017 2 Cruise track

Figure: (A) Cruise track of the Japanese cruise (KH-17-3) along GEOTRACES GP02 line; (B) Cruise track of the South African process study cruise (AIMIZ-GIO6). Click here to view the figure larger.

GEOTRACES paper selected as NOAA-Office of Oceanographic and Atmospheric Research paper of the year

15 Nature cover

Congratulations to Joseph Resing and co-authors whose paper "Basin-scale transport of hydrothermal dissolved metals across the South Pacific Ocean" (2015, see reference below) was selected for a NOAA-Office of Oceanographic and Atmospheric Research paper of the year award. This paper published in Nature reports findings from the US East Pacific Zonal Transect (EPZT) GEOTRACES cruise (GP16).

The paper was featured on the cover of Nature (Volume 523 Number 7559, Thursday 9 July 2015). A GEOTRACES science highlight of the paper is available here.


Resing, J. A., Sedwick, P. N., German, C. R., Jenkins, W. J., Moffett, J. W., Sohst, B. M., & Tagliabue, A. (2015). Basin-scale transport of hydrothermal dissolved metals across the South Pacific Ocean. Nature, 523(7559), 200–203. DOI:


 Data Product (IDP2017)


 Data Assembly Centre (GDAC)


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