SPCMSC research scientist sailed on the JOIDES Resolution to investigate microbiology and geochemistry of trans-Pacific aerosols

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Dr. Dale Griffin (Environmental and Public Health Microbiologist, SPCMSC) recently participated on the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) 378 transit onboard the JOIDES Resolution from November 16th to December 10th. This long-range oceanic sampling transect extended across the mid-Pacific from San Diego to Fiji.

This particular transit offered a unique opportunity to study aerosols emitted off the Americas over and across the equatorial Pacific. Dale conducted aerosol analyses (microbiology, mercury, geochemistry, particle concentration, and composition), surface water assays (bacterial and viral direct counts, and determination of the presence of Vibrio species), and set up equipment for 24/7 real-time size fraction aerosol counts for the duration of the cruise. This research will provide insight on aerosol transmissions off continents, natural oceanic aerosol compositions, aerosol fertilization of our oceans, and the global dispersion of microorganisms in various aerosol types (desert dust, volcanic, and fire ash).

This research will compliment data sets acquired from Dr. Griffin’s participation in previous JOIDES Resolution expeditions at several mid-Atlantic sites (IODP Leg 209 in 2003 and IODP Expedition 336 in 2011, ~15°N and 22°N over the mid-Atlantic Ridge, respectively) and a trans-Pacific transit that extended from Hong Kong, China to Punta Arenas, Chile (IODP 368t, in 2018/2019). The JOIDES Resolution provides a unique platform to gather long term atmospheric and oceanographic data sets during its expeditions and transits. The onboard laboratories and technical support are rivaled by no other program and provide for efficient and unique research opportunities.