This project is investigating how much of the nutrients nitrogen, phosphorus and iron are delivered to the ocean through atmospheric dust and how much of this material is available to the near surface plankton community. It may be that atmospheric input controls the production and the microbial diversity in the ocean where nutrients are the limiting factor. Fieldwork will concentrate on the North Atlantic tropical ocean and thus Saharan dust, and will consist mainly of two open ocean cruises: one in 2006 (air-sea campaign with the DODO project) and a second in 2007 (process study).
The cruise data will be available through the British Oceanographic Data Centre. Atmospheric sampling of aerosol and rain is also taking place at the Cape Verde Observatory, from which nutrient and trace metal concentrations will be produced.
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To access the data visit the UK SOLAS Dust-Ocean Interaction project archive.