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updated on 23 May 2019

Outline of GEOTRACES

Mission of GEOTRACES

GEOTRACES is an international study of the global marine biogeochemical cycles of trace elements and their isotopes. Researches from more than 30 countries had been involved in its planning. Science Plan of GEOTRACES was discussed and approved by Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR) of International Council for Science (ICSU)(presently, ISC: International Science Council) in 2005.

The GEOTRACES mission is:

To identify processes and quantify fluxes that control the distributions of key trace elements and isotopes in the ocean, and to establish the sensitivity of these distributions to changing environmental conditions.

The GEOTRACES mission can be expressed as three overriding goals:

  • To determine full water column distributions of selected trace elements and isotopes, including their concentration, chemical speciation, and physical form, along a sufficient number of sections in each ocean basin to establish the principal relationships between these distributions and with more traditional hydrographic parameters;
  • To evaluate the sources, sinks, and internal cycling of these species and thereby characterize more completely the physical, chemical and biological processes regulating their distributions, and the sensitivity of these processes to global change; and
  • To understand the processes that control the concentrations of geochemical species used for proxies of the past environment, both in the water column and in the substrates that reflect the water column.

Science Plan of GEOTRACES is available in PDF file (1.9MB)

Structure of GEOTRACES

GEOTRACES Scientific Steering Committee

Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) has been established in September 2006. It has the primary responsibility for coordination and management of international GEOTRACES activities.

GEOTRACES Standards & Intercalibration Committee

Standards & Intercalibration Committee (S&IC) has been also established in GEOTRACES in order to recommend to the SSC sample acquisition, handling, storage and analysing protocols in the GEOTRACES cruises.

GEOTRACES Data Management Committee

Data Managment Committee (DMC) has been also established in GEOTRACES in order to recommend to the SSC data management policy, protocols, products etc. and oversee the data flow and the activities of data centers in GEOTRACES.

GEOTRACES Parameter Definition Committee

Parameter Definition Committee is responsible for formalising the names of the GEOTRACES parameters for the Intermediate Data Product (IDP), following the GEOTRACES parameter naming conventions.

International Project Office for GEOTRACES

International Project Office (IPO) for GEOTRACES has been established in Toulouse, France in September 2010.

GEOTRACES International Data Assembly Centre (GDAC)

An International Data Management Centre has been established since 2007 following the decision of the SSC at British Oceanographic Data Centre(BODC), Liverpool, United Kingdom. GEOTRACES International Data Assembly Centre (GDAC) will have a responsibility on the data management to promote data sharing and collaboration among the research groups of GEOTRACES and to ensure the data that will be made widely accessible for long-term use. GDAC will work close together with CLIVAR and Carbon Hydrographic Data Office (CCHDO), the United State on the CTD and Hydrographic data management.

The details on data management are introduced at another page in this site: Data Management