GEOSECS programme - a review

S. Krishnaswami


GEOSECS (Geochemical Ocean Section Study) is a global base line data acquisition project, involving geochemists and oceanographers from institutions in USA, Canada, France, Germany, Italy
India. This programme was instituted at a suggestion of Prof. Henry Stommel of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. He expressed the desirability to obtain coordinated physicochemical data for the oceans, to delineate the important oceanic mixing processes. Many of these processes are at present understood only qualitatively. Stommel's idea was warmly welcomed by scientists all over the world, and an ad-hoc committee, set up to study this project, recommended the following. (1) The basic task of the GEOSECS programme would be the measurement of the oceanic constituents along three traverses, from the Arctic to the Antarctic. Such an analysis of the chemical constituents of the ocean water would provide data for the first time for quantitative studies of oceanic mixing, air-sea exchange etc. The most important aspect of this programme is that all these measurements would be made in the same water sample. (2) Maximum emphasis should be given to the self consistency and accuracy of the results. (To attain consistency and highest accuracy in results, detailed sampling programmes and intercalibration studies have been carried out. (3) GEOSECS programme should be treated as a world wide cooperative study, open to all scientists and institutions working in this field


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