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Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:Florida State University
  • William M Landing
  • (850) 644-6037
Award Date:07/21/2014
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 104,290
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 104,290
  • FY 2014=$7,010
  • FY 2015=$97,280
Start Date:10/01/2014
End Date:09/30/2018
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.050
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:Collaborative Research: GEOTRACES Arctic Section: Sampling and Analysis of Atmospheric Deposition
Federal Award ID Number:1437266
DUNS ID:790877419
Parent DUNS ID:159621697
Program:ANS-Arctic Natural Sciences
Program Officer:
  • Henrietta Edmonds
  • (703) 292-7427

Awardee Location

Street:874 Traditions Way, 3rd Floor
Awardee Cong. District:02

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:Florida State University
Cong. District:02

Abstract at Time of Award

In this project, a group of investigators participating in the 2015 U.S. GEOTRACES Arctic Ocean expedition will study the distribution of a variety of trace elements in seawater, sea ice, and marine air. It is important to understand where they are and how they move in the Arctic because some trace elements are essential to life, others are known biological toxins, and still others are important because they can be used as tracers of a variety of physical, chemical, and biological processes in the sea. In common with other multinational initiatives in the International GEOTRACES Program, the goals of the U.S. Arctic expedition are 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. This multi-institutional team of ocean trace element experts will focus its attention on the importance of aerosol, precipitation, and sea ice melt water in trace element cycling. Results from this work will be disseminated through public educational initiatives, such as web communications and outreach to members of the public, including indigenous populations in Alaska. The project will also provide training for graduate and undergraduate students in biology and chemistry. Atmospheric deposition is an important pathway and transport mechanism of both natural aerosols and contaminants to the ocean. Relative to other regions, atmospheric deposition rates in the Arctic are low and aerosols and dissolved chemicals in precipitation may be deposited directly to the sea surface or, unique to polar regions, onto sea ice. Given the unique biogeochemical processes of the region and its rapid changes in response to global climate change, quantifying the current atmospheric deposition of trace elements and isotopes to differing catchments (ocean, sea ice, and melt ponds) in the Arctic is critical to our ability to predict how their distribution may evolve over time. In this study, aerosol, precipitation, and melt water samples will be collected and analyzed for trace elements and isotopes in order to evaluate the impacts on the surface ocean and sea ice chemistry from natural and anthropogenic aerosols. Through this project, collected atmospheric samples from the Arctic will also be made available for distribution to the broader scientific community.

Publications Produced as a Result of this Research

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Marsay, C.M., Aguilar-Islas, A., Fitzsimmons, J.N., Hatta, M., Jensen, L.T., John, S.G., Kadko, D., Landing, W.M., Lanning, N.T., Morton, P.L., Pasqualini, A., Rauschenberg, S., Sherrell, R.M., Shiller, A.M., Twining, B.S., Whitmore, L.M., Zhang, R.F. and "Dissolved and particulate trace elements in late summer Arctic melt ponds" Marine Chemistry, v.204, 2018, p.70. doi:10.1016/j.marchem.2018.06.002 

Kadko, D., Galfond, B., Landing, W. M., & Shelley, R. U. "Determining the pathways, fate, and flux of atmospherically derived trace elements in the arctic ocean/ice system." Marine Chemistry, v.182, 2016, p.38. doi:10.1016/j.marchem.2016.04.006 

Marsay, C. M., Kadko, D., Landing, W. M., Morton, P. L., Summers, B. A., & Buck, C. S. "Concentrations, provenance and flux of aerosol trace elements during US GEOTRACES Western Arctic cruise GN01." Chemical Geology, v.502, 2018, p.1. doi:10.1016/j.chemgeo.2018.06.007 

Kadko, D., Aguilar-Islas, A., Bolt, C., Buck, C.S., Fitzsimmons, J.N., Jensen, L.T., Landing, W.M., Marsay, C.M., Rember, R., Shiller, A.M., Whitmore, L.M. and Anderson, R.F. "The residence times of trace elements determined in the surface Arctic Ocean during the 2015 US Arctic GEOTRACES expedition." Marine Chemistry, v.208, 2019, p.56. doi:10.1016/j.marchem.2018.10.011 

Project Outcomes Report


This Project Outcomes Report for the General Public is displayed verbatim as submitted by the Principal Investigator (PI) for this award. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this Report are those of the PI and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation; NSF has not approved or endorsed its content.

The 2015 US GEOTRACES Arctic research cruise was unique, representing the first time a US ship had reached the North Pole unaccompanied. While we focused our research on the western Arctic, colleagues from Canada and Europe conducted their own research cruises at the same time, representing a truly pan-Arctic research project to study the distributions and behavior of a broad suite of biologically essential trace elements (micronutrients), water-mass mixing tracers, and tracers of paleo-oceanographic importance.

Our project included a wide array of outreach activities. Bill Schmoker, our on-board PolarTREC science teacher, posted over 65 blogs (with descriptive text and photos) to the PolarTREC web site: In addition, Journals and videos from Bill Schmoker are posted at and Florida International University produced a very high quality video of the research expedition, “Journey to the top of the world” We engaged hundreds of young students through our “Float Your Boat” outreach project. Over 1300 small wood boat forms were decorated by students from around the US with their names and contact information, then deployed on the ice in the Arctic along with satellite tracking buoys so they could be followed as the ice moves through the Arctic. Eventually, the ice will melt and the boats and buoys will be released into the water where tracking can continue. If we are lucky, some of the boats will wash ashore, where they will be found and their recovery positions will be reported back to the students.

Our work on the 2015 US GEOTRACES cruise to the western Arctic Ocean (HLY1502; GEOTRACES cruise GN01)  focused on the collection and analysis of atmospheric samples (aerosols and freshly falling snow). We were primarily interested in characterizing the composition of atmospheric particles (aerosols) in the summertime Arctic with a focus on their trace element chemistry. These aerosols can be produced by both natural and anthropogenic processes in both marine and continental environments.  Despite their low abundance, trace elements often play a significant role in marine productivity because they are essential micronutrients for cellular metabolic pathways and enzyme functions. Deposition from the atmosphere can be the primary source of trace elements to the surface ocean; a process complicated by ice cover in the Arctic.

We determined concentrations of many trace elements Al, Ti, V, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Cd, and Pb as well as P, Sc, and Cr. Falling snow was also analyzed for particulate and dissolved trace elements. We measured the solubility of aerosols in ultrapure deionized water, filtered surface seawater, and a strong acid solution allowing us to estimate the fractional solubility of aerosols reaching the surface ocean by wet and dry deposition. When possible, we collected water samples from ponds of melted water which form on the surface of the sea ice. These unique environments impact the rate at which material from the atmosphere reaches the surface ocean. Dr. Christopher Marsay, a postdoctoral scientist, participated on the cruise. We also provided aerosol and melt-pond samples to other cruise participants. The data has been submitted to the appropriate NSF and GEOTRACES data repositories.


Last Modified: 03/25/2019
Modified by: William M Landing

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