Developing Autonomous Observing Systems for Micronutrient Trace Metals

Type Article
Date 2019-02
Language English
Author(s) Grand Maxime M.1, Laes AgatheORCID2, Fietz Susanne3, Resing Joseph A.4, Obata Hajime5, Luther George W.6, Tagliabue Alessandro7, Achterberg Eric P.8, Middag Rob9, Tovar-Sánchez Antonio10, Bowie Andrew R.11
Affiliation(s) 1 : Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Moss Landing, CA, United States
2 : Laboratoire Détection Capteurs et Mesures, Unité de Recherches et Développements Technologiques, Ifremer, France
3 : Department of Earth Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa
4 : Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, University of Washington and NOAA-Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, Seattle, WA, United States
5 : Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, The University of Tokyo, Chiba, Japan
6 : School of Marine Science and Policy, University of Delaware, Lewes, DE, United States
7 : School of Environmental Sciences, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom
8 : GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Kiel, Germany
9 : Department of Ocean Systems (OCS), NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, and Utrecht University, Texel, Netherlands
10 : ICMAN – Institute of Marine Science of Andalusia (CSIC), Campus Universitario Río San Pedro, Cádiz, Spain
11 : Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies and Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS, Australia
Source Frontiers In Marine Science (2296-7745) (Frontiers Media SA), 2019-02 , Vol. 6 , N. 35 , P. 17p.
DOI 10.3389/fmars.2019.00035
WOS© Times Cited 17
Keyword(s) trace metals, micronutrients, in situ chemical analyzers, in situ sensors, GEOTRACES, OceanObs'19, ocean observing time series
Abstract Trace metal micronutrients are integral to the functioning of marine ecosystems and the export of particulate carbon to the deep ocean. Although much progress has been made in mapping the distributions of metal micronutrients throughout the ocean over the last 30 years, there remain information gaps, most notable during seasonal transitions and in remote regions. The next challenge is to develop in situ sensing technologies necessary to capture the spatial and temporal variabilities of micronutrients characterized with short residence times, highly variable source terms, and sub-nanomolar concentrations in open ocean settings. Such an effort will allow investigation of the biogeochemical processes at the necessary resolution to constrain fluxes, residence times, and the biological and chemical responses to varying metal inputs in a changing ocean. Here, we discuss the current state of the art and analytical challenges associated with metal micronutrient determinations and highlight existing and emerging technologies, namely in situ chemical analyzers, electrochemical sensors, passive preconcentration samplers, and autonomous trace metal clean samplers, which could form the basis of autonomous observing systems for trace metals within the next decade. We suggest that several existing assets can already be deployed in regions of enhanced metal concentrations and argue that, upon further development, a combination of wet chemical analyzers with electrochemical sensors may provide the best compromise between analytical precision, detection limits, metal speciation, and longevity for autonomous open ocean determinations. To meet this goal, resources must be invested to: (1) improve the sensitivity of existing sensors including the development of novel chemical assays; (2) reduce sensor size and power requirements; (3) develop an open-source "Do-It-Yourself" infrastructure to facilitate sensor development, uptake by end-users and foster a mechanism by which scientists can rapidly adapt commercially available technologies to in situ applications; and (4) develop a community-led standardized protocol to demonstrate the endurance and comparability of in situ sensor data with established techniques. Such a vision will be best served through ongoing collaborations between trace metal geochemists, analytical chemists, the engineering community, and commercial partners, which will accelerate the delivery of new technologies for in situ metal sensing in the decade following OceanObs'19.
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Grand Maxime M., Laes Agathe, Fietz Susanne, Resing Joseph A., Obata Hajime, Luther George W., Tagliabue Alessandro, Achterberg Eric P., Middag Rob, Tovar-Sánchez Antonio, Bowie Andrew R. (2019). Developing Autonomous Observing Systems for Micronutrient Trace Metals. Frontiers In Marine Science, 6(35), 17p. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :