Lectures on Radioactivity in the Marine Environment

The SCOR Working Group 146: Radioactivity in the Ocean, 5 decades later (RiO5) has published four lectures on marine radiochemistry in Limnology and Oceanography e‐Lectures. These lectures are freely available to download. Please click on each link below to obtain the complete set of lecture materials, including the full lecture (slide presentation), lecture notes and reading lists:

1) Radioactivity in the Marine Environment: Understanding the Basics of Radioactivity

2) Radioactivity in the Marine Environment: Uranium‐Thorium Decay Series

3) Radioactivity in the Marine Environment: Cosmogenic and Anthropogenic Radionuclides

4) Radioactivity in the Marine Environment: Understanding the Basics of Radioecology

 2019 eLectures RIO5 web

Several GEOTRACES SSC members and researchers awarded the ASLO's 2019 Martin Award

The Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography has awarded the 2019 John H. Martin Award to the paper “A mesoscale phytoplankton bloom in the polar Southern Ocean stimulated by iron fertilization".

The nomination reads:

In their 2000 paper, Phillip Boyd and co-authors, test how phytoplankton respond to iron fertilization. In the 1980s, John Martin himself hypothesized that iron enrichment in high-nutrient, low-chlorophyll regions would stimulate phytoplankton growth, and furthermore could hold the key to mitigating global warming via carbon sequestration. While prior field studies had documented increases in phytoplankton biomass following iron enrichment in the tropics, the second part of Martin’s hypothesis – that the increased phytoplankton biomass would boost carbon sequestration - remained untested until Boyd et al. The 13-day long mesoscale study found that iron enrichment led to an increase in phytoplankton biomass and rate of photosynthesis in surface waters; however, this increased carbon fixation was not necessarily followed by enhanced carbon fluxes and sequestration as predicted by Martin’s “iron hypothesis".

CONGRATULATIONS to current and past GEOTRACES Scientific Steering Committee or subcommittees members Phillip Boyd (lead author), Andrew R. Bowie, Maria T. Maldonado, Peter Croot (co-authors), as well as all other co-authors, Andrew J. Watson, Cliff S. Law, Edward R. Abraham, Thomas Trull, Rob Murdoch, Dorothee C. E. Bakker, K. O. Buesseler, Hoe Chang, Matthew Charette, Ken Downing, Russell Frew, Mark Gall, Mark Hadfield, Julie Hall, Mike Harvey, Greg Jameson, Julie LaRoche, Malcolm Liddicoat, Roger Ling, R. Michael McKay, Scott Nodder, Stu Pickmere, Rick Pridmore, Steve Rintoul, Karl Safi, Philip Sutton, Robert Strzepek, Kim Tanneberger, Suzanne Turner, Anya Waite, and John Zeldis!

The John Martin Award recognizes a paper in aquatic sciences that is judged to have had a high impact on subsequent research in the field. More information about this award is available here:

Boyd, P. W et al. (2000). A mesoscale phytoplankton bloom in the polar Southern Ocean stimulated by iron fertilization. Nature, 407(6805), 695–702.

Elements Magazine issue devoted to GEOTRACES research

The Elements Magazine December 2018 issue is devoted to GEOTRACES research!

2018 ELEM GEOTRACES picture

Marine Biogeochemistry of Trace Elements and Their Isotopes

Catherine Jeandel, Zanna Chase, and Vanessa Hatje - Guest Editors
Download the table of contents.


The magazine's overview of this issue reads:

The field of marine geochemistry is exploding these last two decades. During the 1980s and 1990s, the scientific community developed a geochemical toolbox to study key ocean processes, based on the concentration and isotopic composition of trace elements. The multiple processes at play in the ocean led the community to join forces and combine, at a global scale, the information provided by individual tracers to tackle big questions in oceanography. These were the motivations to create GEOTRACES, an international program of marine geochemistry. The key questions include the sources, internal processes and sinks of the elements; the services and functioning of marine ecosystems; the ocean’s role in climate variability; and the transport and fate of contaminants in the ocean. This issue will introduce the reader to the fascinating exploration of the big questions in ocean science using the chemistry of the infinitely small in seawater.

The volume contains the following articles:

Successful Joint GEOTRACES/PAGES Synthesis Workshop: Trace element and isotope proxies in paleoceanography

60 researchers from the PAGES and GEOTRACES communities participated to an intensive 2.5 day workshop from the 3rd to the 5th of December in Aix en Provence, France. The aim of the workshop was to conduct open discussions on the applicability and scientific gaps regarding the use of some proxies exploited to infer past circulation, surface productivity and particle fluxes. Indeed, thanks to the GEOTRACES programme, these tracers are more and more documented in the modern ocean, raising important caveats in the understanding of their present behavior and distributions. Fruitful confrontations and discussions conducted the 2 communities to identify common exciting perspectives and workshop products…more details soon! 


Joint GEOTRACES PAGES Workshop participants. Click here to download the image in high resolution.

For further information:

Successful completion of US GEOTRACES Pacific Meridional Transect cruise

US Research Vessel Roger Revelle docked in Papeete, Tahiti at 0710, 24 November, completing the 67 day US GEOTRACES Pacific Meridional Transect, GP15 from Seattle, Washington to Tahiti, with a port stop in Hilo, Hawaii. The cruise transected from 56 deg N to 20 deg S along 152 deg W, and occupied a total of 34 vertical profile stations, for a total of over 55,000 samples taken for dissolved and particulate TEIs. Greg Cutter at Old Dominion University served as chief scientist, with Phoebe Lam (UC Santa Cruz) and Karen Casciotti (Stanford University) as co-chief scientists. A total of 51 scientist took part, with an exchange of 13 in Hilo. Overall, the cruise was a complete success and we look forward to data becoming available in the next year or so.

GP15 leg2 group2lFigure: The US GEOTRACES Pacific Meridional Transect cruise (RR1815, GP15) participants.
Click here to view the figure larger.


A tribute to Chris Daniels (1987-2018)

Data management is not a glamorous role. Even in a field like oceanography, which has generated large multi-disciplinary datasets and relied upon them for important scientific work for decades, the data managers tend to toil in the background and are rarely acknowledged. Their world is filled with dealing with different types of data spreadsheets, converting between file formats and the chasing down of units and methods, all while trying to meet the demands of their scientific community.

Today we would like to take the chance to acknowledge Chris Daniels, a data manager who made an important contribution to the GEOTRACES community and has sadly passed away in November 2018 at the age of 31.

All us are proud of the 2017 data product that GEOTRACES released, but those of us involved in the planning and execution process know that it was an enormous effort. A crucial part of this is how data sets from all over the world, concerning hundreds of parameters are assembled at the GEOTRACES Data Assembly Centre (hosted at the British Oceanographic Data Centre in Liverpool). Only with this synthesis effort is it possible to realise the ambition of a multi parameter, fully integrated dataset like the IDP.

When we moved from the IDP2014 to IDP2017 the number of different parameters and datasets increased dramatically, and our existing methods of work were feeling the strain. Chris joined the GEOTRACES effort in January 2017 and was tasked with thinking about how to approach this emerging challenge and the leadership this would require. Sadly, Chris became ill shortly afterwards and was unable to return to work to complete the task himself. However even in this short time, he brought into place a new approach, with a dedication and enthusiasm to deliver what the community was looking for.

Chris had interests outside of his role within GEOTRACES, which was only ever planned as a stepping stone along the road to a fulfilling academic career. During his PhD and postdoctoral work he was a valued member of large UK projects such as Ocean Acidification and Shelf Sea Biogeochemistry. He was especially passionate about coccolithophores and was considered to be a bright emerging young scientist with an exciting future ahead of him.

We express our sadness at his passing at such a young age and send our sympathies to his family, friends and colleagues. In particular, we take this opportunity to reflect on how fortunate we are to meet unique and talented people like Chris in our daily work. Today, we work on towards new scientific challenges and discoveries in his memory.

On behalf of the GEOTRACES Programme, 
Alessandro Tagliabue (co-chair Data Management Committee, University of Liverpool)

If you would like to make a donation in memory of Chris, his family has suggested Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, a charity with which Chris and his family are heavily involved: 

2018 Chris Daniels
Chris aboard the RRS James Clark Ross steaming out of South Georgia during the one of the UK Ocean Acidification cruises in 2013 (photo by Mark Moore).

 Data Product (IDP2017)


 Data Assembly Centre (GDAC)


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