Deployment: JC053

Chief Scientist: 
James Rees (Plymouth Marine Laboratory, PML)
Atlantic Meridional Transect Cruise 20
Platform Type:
Start Date: 
End Date: 
Southampton, UK to Punta Arenas, Chile


AMT20 (JC053) is the third cruise of the third phase of the Atlantic Meridional Transect (AMT) programme. The programme is hosted by Plymouth Marine Laboratory in collaboration with the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, provides an exceptional opportunity for nationally and internationally driven collaborative research, and provides a platform for excellent multi-disciplinary oceanographic research. As an in situ observation system, AMT informs on changes in biodiversity and function of the Atlantic ecosystem during this period of rapid change to our climate and biosphere.

The aims of the AMT programme [] are to quantify the nature and causes of ecological and biogeochemical variability in the planktonic ecosystems of the Atlantic Ocean, and to assess the effects of this variability on biological carbon cycling and air-sea exchange of radiatively active gases and aerosols. Between 1995 and 2005 marine and atmospheric data were collected twice a year along a 13,500 km transect in the Atlantic Ocean. The cruise track enabled biogeochemical measurements to be made within the poorly studied North and South Atlantic oligotrophic gyres as well as within equatorial and coastal upwelling regions. The range of ecosystems sampled has facilitated the calibration and validation of newly developed techniques, provided a testbed for comparative ecology and enabled the development of atmospheric and oceanographic models. The unique AMT dataset continues to be deposited and made available to the wider community through the British Oceanographic Data Centre.