Atlantic Ocean

Section map

The GEOTRACES Scientific Steering Committee discussed and proposed these cruise tracks in September 2007 at the Atlantic Basin Workshop held in Oxford, UK. More information about each cruise is available — please click on the map labels below.

Atlantic GEOTRACES sections GA01 GA02 GA03 GA04 GA05 GA06 GA07 GA08 GA09 GA10 GA11 GA12 Bonus Good Hope (GIPY4) Zero and drake (GIPY5) Bermuda Atlantic Time-Series Study (BATS) Tropical Eastern North Atlantic Time-Series Observatory (TENATSO) Canary Islands Time-Series (ESTOC) CATS Time-Series DYFAMED Time-Series CArbon Retention In A Colored Ocean Time-Series (CARIACO)
Atlantic Ocean GEOTRACES cruise sections ©

Cruise details

Section Country Cruise Dates (completed cruises/ approved future cruises) Information



L'Atalante cruise GEOVIDE sailed on 15 May 2014 from Lisbon, Portugal, crossing the North Atlantic along the OVIDE section and sampling in the Labrador Sea.

Objectives included characterising the TEI (Trace Elements and Isotopes) throughout a Global Survey consisting of various ocean sections. The GEOVIDE section is France's contribution to this Global Survey in the North Atlantic Ocean.


The Chief Scientist and GEOTRACES Scientist onboard was Dr Geraldine Sarthou (Laboratory of Marine Environmental Science). Further details associated with the GEOVIDE cruise can be found in the cruise report.



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This section was split up into three separate cruises. Greater details on each cruise can be found in the respective cruise reports and metadata forms.

Leg 1 PE319 on RV Pelagia started on 28 April 2010 from Scrabster (Scotland) and arrived in Bermuda 26 May 2010 with Dr Loes Gerringa (Royal NIOZ) as Chief Scientist. The original departure from Reykjavik, Iceland was changed due to the ash plume from the volcano under the Eyjafjallajoekull.  Please see the cruise report for further information.

Leg 2 PE321 on RV Pelagia departed from St George (Bermuda) 11 June 2010 and ended in Fortaleza (Brazil) on 08 July 2010 with Dr Micha Rijkenberg (Royal NIOZ) as Chief Scientist. See the cruise report and GEOTRACES post-cruise metadata form for more details.

Leg 3 JC057 sailed on the UK research ship RRS James Cook departing Punta Arenas (Chile) on the 02 March 2011 and ending in Las Palmas (Spain). Dr Micha Rijkenberg (Royal NIOZ) was Chief Scientist and Professor Hein J.W. de Baar the head of the Netherlands GEOTRACES programme.

Professor Hein J.W. de Baar was the GEOTRACES Scientist on all 3 cruise legs. For more details see the cruise report. Information on parameters sampled on this leg of the cruise can be seen in the GEOTRACES post-cruise metadata form.


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In September 2008 a meeting was held to discuss the proposed US Atlantic Section. This led to statements of interest being submitted to the US GEOTRACES Steering Committee. The outcome was the U.S. GEOTRACES North Atlantic section cruise (KN199-4) which sailed from Lisbon on 15 October 2010. 

The cruise KN199-4 was terminated after completing one third of the planned stations due to mechanical problems with the ship. Science personnel disembarked in the Cape Verde Islands to return home. Virtually all planned sampling had been completed successfully up to the termination of the cruise, testimony to the excellent preparations by the cruise organisers and shipboard personnel. Additional details can be found in the cruise report.

US GEOTRACES was offered additional ship time and the transit was completed on December 11, 2011 aboard the RV Knorr (KN204). The Chief Scientist was Professor Edward Boyle (MIT) and the GEOTRACES Scientist contact Dr William Jenkins.

GA04 Netherlands

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— 02-06-2013


The MedBlack GEOTRACES leg 1 on RV Pelagia started on 14 May 2013, departing from Lisbon, and ending in Istanbul on 05 June 2013. The GA04 GEOTRACES transect was sampled in a combined effort involving two research vessels. Both research vessels followed a similar cruise track. The Spanish research vessel RV Angeles Alvariño (GA04S MedSeA cruise) concentrated on i) large volume sampling for the sampling of (radio) isotopic elements, ii) include biological systems, and iii) the carbon system. The cruise started in Cadiz on 02 May 2013 and finished in Barcelona on 01 June 2013. The NIOZ research vessel RV Pelagia concentrated on the distribution of GEOTRACES trace elements and isotopes (TEIs), and many other trace elements and isotopes that necessitates trace metal clean sampling. Please access the cruise report here for more details.

RV Pelagia departed on 14 July 2013 and joined a convoy from Istanbul through the Bosporus into the Black Sea to start leg 2 (PE373) of the MedBlack GEOTRACES cruise. This leg of the cruise teminated on 25 July 2013 in Istanbul, Turkey. Please see the cruise report for further information.

Leg 3 PE374 on RV Pelagia departed from Istanbul in Turkey on 26 July 2013 and ended in Lisbon, Portugal on 13 August 2013. The Chief Scientist onboard all three legs of the cruise was Dr Micha Rijkenberg and the GEOTRACES Scientist Professor Hein J.W. de Baar. The cruise report can be consulted for more details.

The MedSeA leg of the cruise departed on 2 May 2013 from Cadiz in Spain and returned on 2 June 2013 in Barcelona, Spain. The cruise took place on RV Angeles Alvariño. This cruise is an essential part of the European project 'Mediterranean Sea Acidfication in a changing climate (MedSeA)' and the GEOTRACES programme. MedSeA samples the GA04S section of GA04 in collaboration with the NIOZ cruises (GA04N) onboard the RV Pelagia. The Chief Scientists appointed on this cruise were Dr Partrizia Ziveri and Dr Jordi Garcia-Orellana. For further information please see the GEOTRACES post-cruise metadata form.

All 4 legs of the GA04 cruise took samples to determine the distribution of GEOTRACES TEI's (trace elements and isotopes). While the GA04N legs focused on collecting trace elements that require trace metal clean sampling, the GA04S leg concentrated on those samples that need large volumes of water, such as artificial radionuclides.

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RRS Discovery cruise D361 sailed on 07 February 2011 from Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. The Chief Scientist and GEOTRACES Scientist was Professor Eric Achterberg (Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research, Kiel). Details of this cruise can be found in the GEOTRACES post-cruise metadata form and cruise report.


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This cruise (M121) departed on 22 November and returned on 28 December 2015 on FS Meteor. The departure and return port was from Walvis Bay, Namibia with Professor Martin Frank and Professor Eric Achterberg (both of whom are located at Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research, Kiel) acting as Chief Scientists and GEOTRACES Scientists on board. For further information please see the GEOTRACES pre-cruise metadata form.
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RRS Discovery cruise D357 sailed on October 2010 from Cape Town, South Africa. The Chief Scientist and GEOTRACES Scientist was Professor Gideon M. Henderson (Department of Earth Sciences, Oxford). Due to unforeseen circumstances only a third of the proposed 40°S zonal section was completed. Details of this cruise can be found in the cruise report.

The cruise was rescheduled and sailed in December 2011 aboard the RRS James Cook (JC068). The Chief Scientist was also Professor Gideon M. Henderson.




RV Meteor cruise M81/1 sailed in February 2010 from Las Palmas (Canary Islands, Spain) to Port of Spain (Trinidad and Tobago). The Chief Scientist and GEOTRACES Scientist was Professor Martin Frank (Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research, Kiel). Please see this short report and the GEOTRACES pre-cruise metadata form for further details on parameters sampled and other relevant metadata.
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An extension of GA11 to 60ºS was agreed upon at the 2015 Scientific Steering Committee (SSC). Further information regarding this cruise will follow shortly.




The MD166 Bonus Good Hope cruise sailed in 2008 aboard the Marion Dufresne. This cruise was part of the international IPY programme and GEOTRACES was one of the main projects associated with this cruise. The Chief Scientist on board was Professor Sabrina Speich and the GEOTRACES Scientist Dr Marie Boye. Details can be found in the cruise report and GEOTRACES post-cruise metadata form.



ANTXXIV-3 Zero and drake sailed on 06 February 2008 from Cape Town, South Africa. The cruise sampled in the Zero Meridian, Weddell Sea and the Drake Passage. This cruise terminated in Punta Arenas, Chile on 16 April 2008. The Chief Scientist on board was Dr Eberhard Fahrbach and the GEOTRACES Scientist Professor Hein J.W. de Baar. Please see the cruise report and the GEOTRACES post-cruise metadata form for further details.

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