Dissolved gases in the Adriatic and Ionian Sea during MATER Project

Data set information

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Data holding centreUniversity of Bremen, Department of Tracer-Oceanography
CountryGermany  Germany
Time periodFrom August 1997 to March 1999
Geographical area

Southern Adriatic Sea, Northern Ionian Sea


Dissolved concentration parameters for other gases in the water column


Gas chromatograph mass spectrometers; spectrophotometers


40 ml water samples are filled into cupper tubes at sea which are pinched off. In the laboratory the gas amount is vacuum extracted from the sample and transferred in a specially designed helium/ neon isotope mass spectrometer. Two helium isotopes 3He, 4He and two Neon iostopes 20Ne, 22Ne are measured. Air aliquots provide the instrument calibration and monitor sensitivity changes. Intercalibration between individual air measurements is achieved by a large reservoir of air which has been kept since the beginning of our measurements. Small air bubbles are sometimes enclosed in the copper tubes during the sampling procedure leading to contamination of the samples. Since neon has no internal sources in the ocean air contamination of the samples can be corrected for using the neon excess in the sample. Samples have been assigned quality flags to identify these corrections. The quality flag is a three digit number, the meaning of the flags is as following: 1 sample taken but not measured; 2 good measurement; 3 questionable measurement, 4 bad measurement (too low); 5 bad measurement (too high); 6 mean of replicate samples; 7 air contamination corrected; 8 helium contamination; 9 sample not drawn. The helium and neon concentrations represent both the sum of the two isotopes. For helium they are nearly identical to 4He which is 106 times more abundant than 3He, for neon the isotope 22Ne makes up 10 % of the sum. delta3He is the deviation of the isotopic ratio R=3He/4He in the water sample compared to that in air Ra=1.384 10-6 . delta3He=((R/Ra)-1)*100 (%). In contrast to neon internal sources of helium in the ocean exist. This is either tritiugenic helium productio or terrigenic release of helium from the ocean floor. These internal additions of helium in the ocean can be used to identify and trace water masses and the combination of helium and tritium measurements allows a dating procedure.

OriginatorsUniversity of Bremen, Department of Tracer-Oceanography
Data web site
OrganisationUniversity of Bremen, Department of Tracer-Oceanography
ContactKlein Birgit

University of Bremen, Department of Tracer-Oceanography
Institute of Environmental Physics NW1 Otto-Hahn-Allee 1

Telephone+49 421 218 4065
Facsimile+ 49 421 218 4555
Collating centreNational Institute of Oceanography and Applied Geophysics - OGS, Division of Oceanography
Local identifierOGS-EDMED-236
Global identifier3735
Last revised2003-09-16