European Directory of Marine Environmental Data (EDMED)

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Data set name

GEOTRACES Programme Data Set (2006 onwards) - Trace elements and isotopes in the water column

Data holding centreBritish Oceanographic Data Centre
CountryUnited Kingdom  United Kingdom
Time periodCruises started in 2006 and are expected to run for at least 10 years
Geographical area

Section cruises will be run in all major ocean basins


Electrical conductivity of the water column; Dissolved oxygen parameters in the water column; Dissolved metal concentrations in the water column; Total metal concentrations in water bodies; Dissolved inorganic nitrogen concentration in the water column; Temperature of the water column; Stable isotope enrichment in the water column


Water temperature sensor; salinity sensor; inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometers; CTD


The data set comprises trace metal and isotope data from the GEOTRACES programme. The data set incorporates the core GEOTRACES parameters for example, Iron (Fe), Aluminum (Al), Zinc (Zn), Manganese (Mn), Cadmium (Cd), Copper (Cu), delta 15 Nitrogen, delta 13 Carbon, Thorium (Th) isotopes, Protactinium(Pa) isotopes, Lead (Pb) isotopes, Neodymium (Nd) isotopes and aerosols, These data are also supported by ancillary measurements. GEOTRACES is global in scope and consists of ocean sections complemented by regional process studies. The ocean sections are designed to cross regions that provide the most information about sources, sinks and internal cycling of trace elements and isotopes (TEIs). The programme started in 2006, with the first International Polar Year - GEOTRACES cruise, and aims to study all major ocean basins over the next decade. Advances in clean sampling protocols and analytical techniques provide an unprecedented capability for measurement of a wide range of TEIs. All measurements collected for GEOTRACES will use ultra clean techniques as many of the countries involved have built specialist winches, wires and conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD) units specifically for this programme. SAFe standards (standards developed following the Sampling and Analysis of Fe (SAFe) cruise) and GEOTRACES inter-calibration protocols provide quality control.The GEOTRACES programme builds on the data collected during the Geochemical Ocean Section Study (GEOSECS) in the 1970s. The potential afforded by advances in sampling protocol and analytical techniques had not been realized since then, largely because of a lack of coordinated research. The GEOTRACES programme includes scientists from approximately 30 nations, although the key countries are the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Sweden, Netherlands, USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, India and China.

OriginatorsLamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University
University of Oxford, Department of Earth Sciences
Data web site
OrganisationBritish Oceanographic Data Centre
ContactPolly Hadžiabdić (Head of the BODC Requests Team)

British Oceanographic Data Centre
Joseph Proudman Building 6 Brownlow Street
L3 5DA
United Kingdom

Telephone+44 (0)151 795 4884
Collating centreBritish Oceanographic Data Centre
Local identifier1048GEOTRACES
Global identifier4283
Last revised2015-05-22