Program: U.S. GEOTRACES
GEOTRACES gained momentum following a special symposium, S02: Biogeochemical cycling of trace elements and isotopes in the ocean and applications to constrain contemporary marine processes (GEOSECS II), at a 2003 Goldschmidt meeting convened in Japan. The GEOSECS II acronym referred to the Geochemical Ocean Section Studies To determine full water column distributions of selected trace elements and isotopes, including their concentration, chemical speciation, and physical form, along a sufficient number of sections in each ocean basin to establish the principal relationships between these distributions and with more traditional hydrographic parameters;
* To evaluate the sources, sinks, and internal cycling of these species and thereby characterize more completely the physical, chemical and biological processes regulating their distributions, and the sensitivity of these processes to global change; and
* To understand the processes that control the concentrations of geochemical species used for proxies of the past environment, both in the water column and in the substrates that reflect the water column.
GEOTRACES will be global in scope, consisting of ocean sections complemented by regional process studies. Sections and process studies will combine fieldwork, laboratory experiments and modelling. Beyond realizing the scientific objectives identified above, a natural outcome of this work will be to build a community of marine scientists who understand the processes regulating trace element cycles sufficiently well to exploit this knowledge reliably in future interdisciplinary studies.
Additional program information