Many trace elements are critical for marine life and therefore influence the functioning of ocean ecosystems and the global carbon cycle. Some trace elements are also of concern as contaminants, while others, together with a diverse array of isotopes, are used to assess modern-ocean processes and the role of the ocean in past climate change.
Despite the recognised importance of trace elements and isotopes in the ocean, our ability to exploit knowledge of their attributes is limited by uncertainty about their sources, sinks, internal cycling and chemical speciation.
The international programme GEOTRACES fills this critical gap with knowledge of the marine biogeochemical cycles of trace elements and their isotopes at an unprecedented scale.
This blog is about the German contribution to GEOTRACES, starting with cruise M121 of the German Research vessel METEOR. The science party consists of 28 scientists, mainly working groups from Germany (GEOMAR, Jacobs University and MPI Bremen), the U.K. (Oxford), and two guests from Angola. Chief scientists are Martin Frank and Eric Achterberg from GEOMAR in Kiel.
Contact for this Blog: Prof. Dr. Eric Achterberg, GEOMAR