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Ocean interfaces under global changes –
Exploring the fate of the Amazon River plume

The Amazon River contributes to almost 20% of global riverine freshwater input to the ocean, supporting a diverse ecosystem. The plume helps removing carbon from the ocean waters which is most pronounced in the plume´s nitrogen limited zone. Constraining N transformations in this complex system is essential to understand the future of changing river systems entering the coastal ocean. For this purpose, the Meteor cruise M174 and the German Research Foundation funded MeNARP Project (Metabolism of N in the Amazon River Plume and Tropical North Atlantic) study the plume and western tropical North Atlantic between April 12 to May 31, with an interdisciplinary international team from Germany, Switzerland and the USA.

Press release at the expedition start, April 12, 2021

Logo of the Deep Baltic Mission

30.05.2021 – Back on land

Group photo

We are finally back on land, and can’t believe that we had the chance to do this cruise. Soon another step in the project will start: the processing of our samples.

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27.05.2021 – At the center of the N-Cycle

Sediment Sampler

Where does all the Nitrogen go? How do we close the circle? Let’s have a look at bacteria to get an answer.

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19.05.2021 – Tracking zooplankton

Brown and blue water

The differences in available nutrients between the regions of the Amazon River Plume foster changes in mesozooplankton food web structure. It is now possible to describe those using biogeochemical measurements.

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13.05.2021 – The hunt for phytoplankton

15N samples

You already learned a lot about our study area and navigating through the river plume. But what exactly are we doing all day on the ship? This entry explains how we investigate nitrogen uptake by phytoplankton.

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06.05.2021 – Using satellites to map the Amazon River Outflow and plan our sampling locations

Dolphin in the water

The Amazon River outflow is so vast and dynamic that it is unrealistic to study the entire system using conventional ship-based observations only. Space-based satellites are ideal tools for observing such extended and quickly changing surface phenomena.
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17.04.2021 – First days on board

Sampling with the CTD

After months of preparation we could hardly believe that the R/V Meteor was standing in front of us. We will spend 7 weeks on board. Get excited with us about the start of the unpacking.

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10.04.2021 – Science during a pandemic

R/V Meteor ready for departure

Organizing a scientific cruise during a pandemic is challenging. In addition to all the planning, it was imperative to make sure that all the health rules were applied. Read how it felt to be in quarantine for 10 days and finally start our journey.

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09.04.2021 – Isotopes: an outlook on element cycling

Sampling with masks

Have you ever heard of stable isotopes? Read here what they are and why they are such powerful tools to understand elemental cycles. Enjoy!

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08.04.2021 – On the importance of studying major freshwater loads in the Ocean

Amazon River Plume

We are getting more and more excited to finally set foot on the gangway of R/V Meteor. In this entry, we would like to introduce our study area a bit more to you - read along why the Amazon is so fascinating to us.

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Expedition: M174
Mission: MeNARP
Start: 12.04.2021 - Las Palmas
Destination: 31.05.2021 - Emden


Meteor: Current Position

Research vessel Meteor