Best Practice Workshop on Trace Element Measurements in Oceanography

Loading Map....

Plymouth University

18/07/2016 - 20/07/2016

The overarching aims of work package 6.2 of AtlantOS are to develop:

  1. Common metrology techniques and best practice (including standards) for measurement of priority Essential Ocean Variables (EOVs), ensuring dataset accuracy, precision and reliable intercomparisons between different technologies, laboratories, sampling locations and times.
  2. An implementation framework and robust validation schemes that ensure agreement between methods as well as methodological reproducibility at all stages of the analytical process from sample acquisition and processing, through to analytical and reporting protocols.

This particular workshop focuses on trace element measurements. It will be hosted by Plymouth University, UK and run from Monday 18th July to Wednesday 20th July on the main Plymouth campus (Smeaton Building rooms 100 and 102a). A dropbox folder will be set up so that participants can access course material and upload information. There is a range of accommodation available in Plymouth at that time of year and those attending will be expected to make their own arrangements. The programme will have four components, which will include a mixture of lectures/tutorials, worked examples and practical exercises. These will cover:

  1. The oceanographic context and biogeochemical cycling of trace elements. See e.g. “Marine biogeochemistry of iron, S.J. Ussher, E.P. Achterberg and P.J. Worsfold, Environmental Chemistry”, 1, 67- 80 (2004) doi: 10.1071/EN04053; GEOTRACES (
  2. An introduction to statistics, traceability, uncertainty and terminology in metrology. See e.g. “Metrology in Chemistry in a nutshell”, I. Leito, (
  3. The modelling or “bottom up” approach to uncertainty estimation. See e.g. “Uncertainty contributions to the measurement of dissolved Co, Fe, Pb and V in seawater using flow injection with solid phase preconcentration and detection by collision/reaction cell-quadrupole ICP–MS”. R. Clough, H. Sela, A. Milne, M.C. Lohan, S. Tokalioglu, P.J. Worsfold, Talanta, 133, 162-169 (2015), doi: 10.1016/j.talanta.2014.08.045. “Combined uncertainty estimation for the determination of the dissolved iron amount content in seawater using flow injection with chemiluminescence detection”. G.H. Floor, R. Clough, M.C. Lohan, S.J. Ussher, P.J. Worsfold, C. R. Quètel, Limnology and Oceanography: Methods, 13, 673– 686 (2015), doi: 10.1002/lom3.10057.
  4. The empirical or “top down” approach to uncertainty estimation. See e.g. Nordtest Technical Report NT TR 537, Edition 3.1 (2012) (

The course will be delivered by Prof Paul Worsfold (PW), Dr Rob Clough (RC) and Dr Simon Ussher (SU) from Plymouth University, UK, Prof Maeve Lohan (ML) from University of Southampton, UK and Prof Ivo Leito (IL) from the University of Tartu, Estonia.

Workshop timetable
Sunday 17th July
18.00 – 20.00 Informal mixer (venue TBA)
Monday 18th July (Smeaton Building, Teaching Room 102a)
09.00 – 10.30 Introductions by presenters and delegates and course overview
10.30 – 11.00 Coffee break
11.00 – 12.00 Trace element biogeochemistry (SU/PW)
12.00 – 13.00 GEOTRACES intercalibration and preparation of reference materials (ML/PW)
13.00 – 14.00 Lunch
14.00 – 15.00 Introduction to method validation and metrology (RC/IL)
15.00 – 15.30 Tea
15.30 – 17.30 Worked examples/exercises (in Smeaton Building Computer Suite, Room 100)
17.30 – 18.00 Summary, question and answer session
19.00 –           Informal arrangements for dinner
Tuesday 19th July (Smeaton Building, Room 102a)
09.00 – 10.30 Modelling approach (also called “theoretical”, “predictive”, “bottom-up”; IL/RC)
10.30 – 11.00 Coffee break
11.00 – 12.30 Worked examples/exercises (in Smeaton Building Computer Suite, Room 100)
12.30 – 13.30 Lunch
13.30 – 15.00 Exercises continued, summary, question and answer session
15.00 – 15.30 Tea
15.30 – 17.00 Empirical approach (also called “experimental”, “retrospective”, “top-down”; IL/RC)
17.00 – 18.00 Worked examples/exercises (in Smeaton Building Computer Suite, Room 100)
19.00 –            Workshop dinner (venue TBA)
Wednesday 20th July (in Smeaton Building Computer Suite, Room 100)
09.00 – 10.30 Exercises continued, summary, question and answer session
10.30 – 11.00 Coffee break
11.00 – 12.30 Open discussion, overall summary of workshop and feedback. Where to go from
here? Presentation of certificates. (PW/SU/RC/ML/IL)
12.30 –            Close of meeting and lunch


Registration for workshop

The workshop is free to attend (i.e. no registration fee) for all members of the AtlantOS network but spaces are limited to 25 by the size of the computer suite and the desire to provide as much personal instruction as possible. Priority will therefore be given to those directly involved in work package 6. The workshop will provide a lecture room (Smeaton Building, Room 102a) and computer suite (in Smeaton Building Computer Suite, Room 100) with a desktop computer for each participant. You may however wish to bring your own laptop and log on through eduroam (optional). All coffees, lunches and teas and the Workshop Dinner on Tuesday 19 th July will be provided.

All participants will be expected to arrange their own accommodation, breakfasts and evening meal on Monday 18 th July.

If you wish to apply to register for the workshop please email Prof Paul Worsfold at before 30th April 2016 and include “uncertainty workshop” in the header. Please provide your full contact details, AtlantOS partner organisation name and number and a brief statement on what oceanographic datasets you are / will be working with. All applicants will be notified of the decision in early May 2016.

Best Practice Workshop On Trace Element Measurements In Oceanography (200.5 KiB)