Arctic Field Projects

Project Title: Collaborative Research: Sample Analysis to Test a Novel Method of Determining Atmospheric Deposition of Trace Elements to the Ocean/Ice System of the Arctic (Award# 1202992)

PI: Landing, William M (
Phone: (850) 644.6037 
Institute/Department: Florida State University, Department of Oceanography 
IPY Project?
Funding Agency: US\Federal\NSF\GEO\OPP\ARC\ANS
Program Manager: Dr. Henrietta Edmonds ( )
Discipline(s): | Oceanography |

Project Web Site(s):

Science Summary:
The investigators will use the naturally occurring isotope beryllium-7, which is produced in the atmosphere by cosmic rays and has a 53.3-day half-life, as a tracer for estimating the atmospheric fluxes of a variety of trace elements to the surface of the Arctic Ocean. They have collected samples of snow, sea ice, surface waters, and atmospheric aerosols through an international collaboration concurrent with the preparation of this grant. This project provides funding for the analysis of Be-7 and for trace elements including aluminum, manganese, iron, cupper, zinc, cadmium, and lead. The atmospheric input of numerous chemical species into the global ocean has been shown to equal or exceed that from river sources. In the Arctic, several contaminant elements in particular are dominated by atmospheric sources, with implications for the Arctic ecosystem and human health. The project will investigate several elements of interest to the international GEOTRACES program, which is currently formulating plans for coordinated Arctic work. The project will support a Ph.D. student who will incorporate these results into his dissertation.

Logistics Summary:
This collaboration between Kadko (1460290, Florida International University) and Landing (1202992, FSU) will conduct an analysis of samples that were collected by a University of Miami PhD student participating on the August 5 – October 7, 2011 Pan-Arctic cruise of the German icebreaker POLARSTERN. Samples include aerosols for 7Be and trace elements, as well as water profiles, snow, ice, melt pond water, and flux collectors for 7Be. Researchers will use these data to model the flux of trace elements into the ocean/ice system and evaluate the partitioning of flux as the vessel crosses regions of varying sea-ice coverage in the Arctic. This project also represents ongoing international collaboration that is developing within the US Arctic GEOTRACES initiative. Analysis only, the samples were collected through other funding, no fieldwork is conducted under this grant.

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