Liege Colloquium 2011



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Terms of reference

Tracers such as Trace Elements and Isotopes (TEI) play an important role in oceanography as tools to (1)describe physical processes, (2) quantify production and carbon export, energy transfer, and trophic pathways, (3) understand the role of limiting micronutrients regulating ecosystem production and structure, (4) reconstruct past ocean conditions, (5) study transport and fate of anthropogenic inputs and pollutants. These thematics are investigated in the framework of several international projects: GEOTRACES, SOLAS, IMBER, among others. Section cruises and process studies have taken place in polar oceans during the International Polar Year (2007-2008) and are now underway in other oceans.

The 43rd International Liege Colloquium on Ocean Dynamics will investigate new developments and insights related to tracers and proxies (from temperature and salinity to gases and isotopes) with a particular attention on the use of TEI as tracers.

More specifically, the following topics will be covered:

  • The use of tracers to understand and quantify physical processes such as general circulation, meso-scale and sub-mesoscale processes, eddies, vertical transport, injection, ageing, ventilation, iso- and diapycnal mixing
  • Factors controlling the sources, sinks and internal cycling of TEIs, and their sensitivity to environmental changes including the impact of physical (including meso-scale and sub-mesoscale) and biogeochemical processes, terrigeneous (riverine and eolian) inputs, climate changes,...
  • The use of tracers and TEI as tools to investigate the cycles of carbon and macro and micro-nutrients, either from in situ TEI distributions, or through deliberate tracer experiments: primary production, new vs regenerated production, carbon export, mesopelagic degradation, trophic pathways,...
  • Trace elements in ecological and biogeochemical processes: 1) interaction between trace elements and the biota (e.g. limitation of primary production, assimilation and regeneration, impact of iron fertilization), 2) the role of trace elements in biogeochemical cycles (e.g. nitrogen fixation, denitrification, stoichiometry of the export)
  • Tracers of anthropogenic impact (including anthropogenic CO2) and pollutants
  • Progress in sample collection, analysis, intercalibration and standardization of TEI.
  • Development and application of molecular and compound-specific isotope tracers as proxies for biogeochemical processes and paleo-environmental conditions
  • Modeling and laboratory studies of TEI and tracers.

Special sessions: 

  • BONUS-GoodHope project
  • International Polar Year
  • IMBER ( theme: "Tracers at the ocean mesoscale and submesoscale", Convener: J. Aristegui (Vice-Chair, IMBER ), click here for a description) .
You can get here the anouncement poster.


List of participants

The list of participants click here for a description


Scientific organizing committee

  • Robert Anderson (University of Columbia, USA)
  • Javier Aristegui (Vice-Chair IMBER, Spain)
  • Steven Bouillon (KUL, Belgium)
  • Andrew Bowie (University of Tasmania, Australia)
  • Ken Buesseler (WHOI, USA)
  • Damien Cardinal (PARIS IV, France)
  • Hein de Baar (NIOZ, The Netherlands)
  • Frank Dehairs (VUB, Belgium)
  • Eric Deleersnijder (UCL, Belgium)
  • Bruno Delille (MARE-Ulg, Belgium)
  • Roger François (University of British Columbia, Canada)
  • Cécile Guieu (LOV, France)
  • Marilaure Grégoire (MARE-Ulg, Belgium)
  • Gideon Henderson (Oxford University, UK)
  • Catherine Jeandel (LEGOS, Toulouse, France)
  • Pere Masque (Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain)
  • Michiel Rutgers van der Loeff (AWI, Germany)
  • Richard Sanders (NOCS, UK)
  • Reiner Schlitzer (AWI, Germany)
  • Sabrina Speich (LPO, France)
  • Mitsuo Uematsu (University of Tokyo, Japan)



  • The program, click here for a description
  • The abstracts, click here for the abstracts
  • Other announcements

    We would like to draw also your attention to the International Workshop / School on Tracer and Timescale Methods for Understanding Complex Geophysical and Environmental Processes which will be held in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, August 16-19, 2011. More information is available at