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The autonomous clean environmental (ACE) sampler: a trace-metal-clean seawater sampler suitable for open-oceantime-series applications


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van der Merwe, P ORCID: 0000-0002-7428-8030, Trull, TW, Goodwin, T, Jansen, P and Bowie, A ORCID: 0000-0002-5144-7799 2019 , 'The autonomous clean environmental (ACE) sampler: a trace-metal-clean seawater sampler suitable for open-oceantime-series applications' , Limnology and Oceanography: Methods , pp. 1-15 , doi: 10.1002/lom3.10327.

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The fundamental role of the micronutrient Fe in controlling phytoplankton growth in large parts of Earth’soceans and a lack of information on seasonal transitions in remote regions motivated us to create an autonomouswater sampler capable of collecting uncontaminated open-ocean seawater samples with monthly resolutionover a full annual cycle. Phytoplankton are at the base of the food chain, which take up carbon dioxidethrough photosynthesis. Assessing Fe availability is essential to understanding both ocean productivity and ourclimate. This need is particularly important in the Southern Ocean, where Fe limitation is wide spread andaccess is difficult especially in winter. To address this need, we have developed an autonomous system capableof observing iron concentrations over a full seasonal cycle, at the subnanomolar concentrations that are importantin the open ocean. The automated clean environmental sampler has been developed initially for 1-yrdeployments on oceanographic moorings. Twelve samples per unit can be programmed to collect 65 mL of seawaterthrough a noncontaminating, primarily Teflon sample path. The system is vaned to maintain its intaketubes in upstream water and has been tested to 100 m depth. The system was deployed during a GEOTRACESsection (SR3 line, GS01) in 2018 alongside an industry standard, trace metal clean rosette, and no significant differencewas found in Fe concentrations in the 50 pmol L–1 range, proving its capability at collectinguncontaminated seawater samples in the open ocean at temperatures above 0C.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:van der Merwe, P and Trull, TW and Goodwin, T and Jansen, P and Bowie, A
Keywords: water sampler, time-series, trace metals, iron, Fe, Southern Ocean, autonomous
Journal or Publication Title: Limnology and Oceanography: Methods
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
ISSN: 1541-5856
DOI / ID Number: 10.1002/lom3.10327
Copyright Information:

© 2019 The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) License, ( which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.

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