Tracer Survey in the Cape Verde Region - Cruise No. MSM10/1 - October 31 – December 06, 2008 - Ponta Delgada (Portugal) – Mindelo (Cape Verde Islands) (English)

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The research cruise MSM10/1 was extremely successful. All programs were able to collect high quality data and the anticipated goals of the expedition were fully met. We have been able to carry out the first comprehensive survey of a tracer release in the Guinea Upwelling region (GUTRE) roughly seven month after the tracer was released at 8°N 23°W in April 2008. We have estimated that a total of 40% of the tracer was found during this cruise. While the horizontal spreading and mixing was larger than anticipated, the vertical extent of the tracer found was small. The low vertical tracer spreading rate estimates are supported by the micro structure profile data. The extensive survey of the upper 1000m of the oxygen minimum zone (OMZ) allowed comparing our sections with several previous surveys. We found that the lowest oxygen values in the core of the OMZ have dropped at record low values below 40 μmol/kg. The preliminary findings from the trace metal work focused on Fe ligand measurements shows a slight higher excess ligand concentration in the surface (50m) for three stations. The two other stations show a slight decrease at this depth. A large number of biochemical samples were taken and were analyzed in Kiel for DNA and RNA diversity. The tracer release experiment provided an ideal environment for repeated biochemical sampling in the same water mass.