Project Information
Collaborative Research: US GEOTRACES GP17-ANT: Dissolved concentrations, isotopes, and colloids of the bioactive trace metals
Short Title:
GEOTRACES GP17-ANT dissolved metals, colloids, and isotopes
Start Date:
End Date:
Project Website(s)
The goal of the international GEOTRACES program is to understand the distributions of trace chemical elements and their isotopes (TEIs) in the oceans. Many trace metals such as iron are essential for life and thus considered nutrients for phytoplankton growth, with trace metal cycling being especially important for influencing carbon cycling in the iron-limited Southern Ocean, where episodic supply of iron from a range of different external sources is important. The primary goal of this project is to measure the dissolved concentrations, size partitioning, and dissolved isotope signature of Fe on a transect of water-column stations throughout the Amundsen Sea and surrounding region of the Antarctic Margin, as part of the GP17-ANT Expedition. The secondary goal of this project is to analyze the concentrations and size partitioning of the trace metals manganese, zinc, copper, cadmium, nickel, and lead in all water-column samples, measure the isotope ratios of zinc, cadmium, nickel, and copper in a subset of water column samples, and measure the Fe isotopic signature of aerosols, porewaters, and particles. Observations from this project will be incorporated into regional and global biogeochemistry models to assess TEI cycling within the Amundsen Sea and implications for the wider Southern Ocean. This project spans three institutions, four graduate students, undergraduate students, and will provide ultrafiltered samples and data to other PIs as service. The US GEOTRACES GP17 ANT expedition, planned for austral summer 2023/2024 aims to determine the distribution and cycling of trace elements and their isotopes in the Amundsen Sea Sector (100-135°W) of the Antarctic Margin. The cruise will follow the Amundsen Sea ‘conveyor belt’ by sampling waters coming from the Antarctic Circumpolar Current onto the continental shelf, including near the Dotson and Pine Island ice shelves, the productive Amundsen Sea Polynya (ASP), and outflowing waters. Episodic addition of dissolved Fe and other TEIs from dust, ice-shelves, melting ice, and sediments drive seasonal primary productivity and carbon export over the Antarctic shelf and offshore into Southern Ocean. Seasonal coastal polynyas such as the highly productive ASP thus act as key levers on global carbon cycling. However, field observations of TEIs in such regions remain scarce, and biogeochemical cycling processes are poorly captured in models of ocean biogeochemistry. The investigators will use their combined analytical toolbox, in collaboration with the diagnostic chemical tracers and regional models of other funded groups to address four main objectives: 1) What is the relative importance of different sources in supplying Fe and other TEIs to the ASP? 2) What is the physiochemical speciation of this Fe, and its potential for transport? 3) How do biological uptake, scavenging and regeneration in the ASP influence TEI distributions, stoichiometry, and nutrient limitation? 4) What is the flux and signature of TEIs transported offshore to the ACC and Southern Ocean?
Person Role
Conway, Timothy Investigator and contact
Fitzsimmons, Jessica Co-Investigator
John, Seth Co-Investigator
Chemical Oceanography Award # 2123491
Chemical Oceanography Award # 2123354
Chemical Oceanography Award # 2123333
AMD - DIF Record(s)
Deployment Type
Nathaniel B. Palmer ship expedition
Data Management Plan
Product Level:
1 (processed data)
Platforms and Instruments

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