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


van der Merwe, P and Trull, TW and Goodwin, T and Jansen, P and Bowie, A, The autonomous clean environmental (ACE) sampler: a trace-metal-clean seawater sampler suitable for open-oceantime-series applications, Limnology and Oceanography: Methods, 17, (9) pp. 490-504. ISSN 1541-5856 (2019) [Refereed Article]

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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.

DOI: doi:10.1002/lom3.10327


The fundamental role of the micronutrient Fe in controlling phytoplankton growth in large parts of Earth's oceans and a lack of information on seasonal transitions in remote regions motivated us to create an autonomous water sampler capable of collecting uncontaminated open‐ocean seawater samples with monthly resolution over a full annual cycle. Phytoplankton are at the base of the food chain, which take up carbon dioxide through photosynthesis. Assessing Fe availability is essential to understanding both ocean productivity and our climate. This need is particularly important in the Southern Ocean, where Fe limitation is wide spread and access is difficult especially in winter. To address this need, we have developed an autonomous system capable of observing iron concentrations over a full seasonal cycle, at the subnanomolar concentrations that are important in the open ocean. The automated clean environmental sampler has been developed initially for 1‐yr deployments on oceanographic moorings. Twelve samples per unit can be programmed to collect 65 mL of seawater through a noncontaminating, primarily Teflon sample path. The system is vaned to maintain its intake tubes in upstream water and has been tested to 100 m depth. The system was deployed during a GEOTRACES section (SR3 line, GS01) in 2018 alongside an industry standard, trace metal clean rosette, and no significant difference was found in Fe concentrations in the 50 pmol L1 range, proving its capability at collecting uncontaminated seawater samples in the open ocean at temperatures above 0C.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:water sampler, time-series, trace metals, iron, Fe, Southern Ocean, autonomous
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Chemical oceanography
Objective Division:Manufacturing
Objective Group:Instrumentation
Objective Field:Scientific instruments
UTAS Author:van der Merwe, P (Dr Pier van der Merwe)
UTAS Author:Trull, TW (Professor Thomas Trull)
UTAS Author:Jansen, P (Mr Peter Jansen)
UTAS Author:Bowie, A (Professor Andrew Bowie)
ID Code:134238
Year Published:2019
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Oceans and Cryosphere
Deposited On:2019-08-02
Last Modified:2020-07-17
Downloads:9 View Download Statistics

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