Collaborative Research: GEOTRACES Pacifice Section: Nd isotopes and REEs in the South Pacific
DESCRIPTION: Neodymium isotopes (Nd) and rare earth elements (REE) are recognized by the GEOTRACES program as key trace elements and isotopes (TEIs) because they trace the sources and mixing of water masses. Therefore, transport data generated by Nd measurements will potentially advance our understanding on the dominant processes that drive TEI distribution in the ocean. There is a particular need for Nd measurements in the South Pacific because current observations do not agree with GCM models. Researchers from Columbia University and Oregon State University will analyze seawater, aerosols, water column particulates, and sea-floor sediments for Nd, strontrium, and REE during the upcoming 2013 GEOTRACES cruise. Because of the geographical transect of the GEOTRACES Pacific section cruise, investigators will assess impacts made by a suite of biological, chemical, and physical processes including: boundary exchange, high productivity, surface addition from aerosols, addition to bottom waters from detached nephloid layers, particles from hydrothermal vents, reversible scavenging, and groundwater fluxes. Furthermore, within the Peru-Chili Oxygen Minimum Zone (OMZ), investigators will utilize the TEI cerium to better understand relative effects of lateral and vertical processes. By improving understanding of the distribution of TEIs, results will also enhance biogeochemical models and advance knowledge of climate systems.