Organic dissolved copper speciation across the U.S. GEOTRACES equatorial Pacific zonal transect GP16

Angel Ruacho, Randelle M. Bundy, Claire P. Till, Saeed Roshan, Jingfeng Wu, Katherine A. Barbeau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Samples for organic copper (Cu)-binding ligand characterization were collected along the 2013 U.S. GEOTRACES Pacific (GP16) cruise transect from Peru to Tahiti. Full depth profiles of Cu speciation were collected across a dynamic range in oceanographic conditions including a highly productive coastal region, an oxygen deficient zone, a high nutrient low chlorophyll (HNLC) region, an oligotrophic region and a hydrothermal vent plume. Surface waters from Peru to Tahiti exhibited elevated dissolved Cu and ligand concentrations near Peru and then decreased in concentration (< 1 nM) offshore toward the oligotrophic waters. There was also an apparent shelf sediment source of strong Cu-binding ligands near the coast of Peru. Throughout most of the transect dissolved Cu and ligand concentrations were lower in the upper waters and increased with depth, with the highest concentrations near the ocean bottom. The hydrothermal vent sampled during the cruise did not seem to be a source for dissolved Cu but there was a slight elevation of Cu-binding ligands at the vent site. Similar vertical patterns in Cu-binding ligands were seen in both the GP16 dataset and the North Atlantic GEOTRACES (GA03) cruise, with notable differences in deep waters of the Pacific. The older water masses of the Pacific were highlighted by higher concentrations of dissolved Cu, Cu-binding ligands, and the free Cu ion (Cu2+) relative to the deep Atlantic. Excess Cu ligands in both GP16 and GA03 point to a possible fraction of Cu accumulating in the deep Pacific that is inert to ligand exchange, suggesting older waters might contain a high fraction of unreactive Cu.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103841
JournalMarine Chemistry
StatePublished - Sep 10 2020


  • Copper
  • Ligands
  • Trace metals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology


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