COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH: SUSPENDED PARTICLE GEOCHEMISTRY ALONG THE US GEOTRACES EASTERN PACIFIC ZONAL TRANSECT, FROM HIGH PRODUCTIVITY OCEAN MARGIN TO DEEP SEA HYDROTHERMAL PLUME

Project Details

Description

During the 2013 GEOTRACES Eastern Pacific cruise a diverse range of oceanic environments will be encountered from the high productivity/high particle flux waters off Peru to the Peru-Chile oxygen minimum zone, the hydrothermal plume of the East Pacific Rise, and finally to some of the most oligotrophic waters around Tahiti. Scientists from Rutgers University and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution will sample suspended particulates from the same GO-Flo bottles that will be used to sample dissolved trace metals and their isotopes (TEIs) across this entire transect. The suspended matter samples will be analyzed for 42 elements, including the particle-reactive rare earth elements. In addition, core-top sediments will be collected at every water-column sampling station and analyzed for both bulk composition (i.e., relative % content of organic carbon, opal, biogenic carbonate and lithogenic components) and the same 42 elements to be analyzed in the suspended particulates. Results from this study will be used to assess the role of suspended particulates in the biogeochemical cycling of TEIs across the Eastern Pacific by addressing three key sets of questions: (1) How does uptake of TEIs into phytoplankton and non-living particles in the upper ocean drive the suspended particulate composition through the deeper water column, along the substantial gradient from the high productivity Peru margin to the oligotrophic ocean interior?; (2) How faithfully is the along-transect variability in the upper ocean transmitted to the sediment (paleo) record?; (3) What are the relative influences of vertical recycling versus lateral advection in generating the distributions of dissolved and particulate TEIs observed in the Peru-Chile OMZ?; (4) Is there a characteristic signature of OMZ activity that is preserved in core-top sediments?; (5) What dominates TEI uptake onto/into authigenic particles in hydrothermal plumes and to what extent are these processes augmented by continuing uptake in core-top sediments?; and (6) What is the net effect from submarine venting on global TEI budgets?As regards broader impacts, the scientist from Rutgers University is collaborating with the Education Director of the Centers for Ocean Science Education Excellence Networked Ocean World (COSEE-NOW) to contribute to the MARE (Marine Activities, Resources, and Education) program by inviting teachers and high school students to workshops and presentations on climate and ocean sciences. With the help of COSEE-NOW, he also plans to create educational video clips during the Pacific cruise and the subsequent laboratory based analytical work to educate them on the use of geochemistry to understand how the ocean works. Both scientists also plan to develop a teaching module entitled 'Particles, Metals, and Carbon' for an Introduction to Oceanography class taught by the Rutgers scientist. One postdoc from Rutgers University would be supported and trained as part of this project.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date1/1/1312/31/15

Funding

  • National Science Foundation (National Science Foundation (NSF))

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