Type Oceanographic cruise
Ship Marion Dufresne
Ship owner TAAF
Dates 13/01/2021 - 08/03/2021
Chief scientist(s) JEANDEL Catherine ORCID, PLANQUETTE Hélène


14 avenue Edouard Belin

31400 Toulouse

+33 (0)5 61 33 47 13


DOI 10.17600/18001925

The ocean's ability to absorb carbon dioxide depends on its chemical status and biological health. One of the major and expected consequences of climate change is to modify, in addition to stratification (and therefore light penetration), the nutrient inputs to the ocean, chemical speciation and the ability of biological species to assimilate them. These changes will be particularly pronounced in the Southern Ocean (IPCC, 2014). The term "nutrients" today systematically includes trace elements such as Fe, Zn, Cu, Cd, Co, Ni that are all involved as coenzymes in cellular processes. These elements thus play a major role in the ocean but are present at very low concentrations. Studying their cycles has direct implications for many scientific studies, such as the carbon cycle, climate change, ocean ecosystems, and environmental contamination. The very recent advances in analytical techniques have allowed us to make substantial improvement in understanding the important properties of trace elements in the ocean. In addition, other trace elements are recognized tracers of processes such as the origin and transformation of matter (and / or water bodies) or the dynamics of marine particles. Others are notorious contaminants (eg Hg, Pb). The SWINGS project is based on an oceanographic section in the southern sector of the southwest Indian Ocean. This region is particularly crucial because it plays a major role in climate control and is highly sensitive to the global changes and still little explored due to its remoteness.

Carrying out the 54-day SWINGS campaign in the South West Indian Ocean, which is essentially southern, will allow us to:

  • Establish the distribution, behavior and transport of trace elements and isotopes (TEIs) within the water bodies identified along the section between La Réunion, Marion Islands, Crozet, Kerguelen to the south of Heard to connect with the Australian section K-Axis.
  • Conduct process studies at the "continent-ocean" interface in the Bay of Natal and their potential influence on Alguhlas current
  • Explore the possible presence of active hydrothermal vents at 44 ° S along the ultra-slow South West Indian Ridge, then near Marion Island and finally in the Kerguelen-Heard region.
  • Contribute to the documentation of carbonate chemistry and air-sea CO2 exchange along a section characterized by contrasting biological assemblages.
  • Solve the signature of the dynamic processes at medium and regional scale (e.g . interactions between the Alghulas current and under current, frontal zones)
  • Re-occupy key stations in the naturally fertilized areas of Crozet and Kerguelen and document the natural fertilization mechanisms at Marion-Prince Edward islands.

Sampling equipment, analyses on board and on shore, and the associated modelling effort are based on state-of-the-art technologies. The originality of this project lies in its interdisciplinarity, which will involve geologists, physicists, chemists and biologists. Observations will feed high-resolution models developed for these regions. SWINGS is supported by an important network of international collaborations with colleagues from South Africa (UCT, CSIR, Stellenbosh), Germany (MPI), Belgium (ULB), Switzerland (ETH) and USA (WHOI, FSU, University of Washington, FIU, Duke University), SWINGS will be the 3rd French contribution to the international GEOTRACES program and fulfills the objectives of the SOLAS, IMBER and INTERRIDGE programs.

Published data

Jeandel Catherine, Planquette Hélène, Briais Anne, Boulart Cédric, Poncelet Cyrille, Scalabrin Carla, Bisquay Herve (2021). High-resolution bathymetry map (15-m grid) of a segment of the SWIR provided by MBES data acquired during the 2021 SWINGS marine expedition on the Marion Dufresne vessel. https://doi.org/10.17882/89462



Mascaut Faustine, Pujol Olivier, Brioude Jérôme, Jensen Andrew (2023). A 2D Ising-like model for cloud field organization in pristine oceans. European Physical Journal Plus, 138(1), 76 (14p.). https://doi.org/10.1140/epjp/s13360-022-03633-3

Liang Zhou, McCabe Kelly, Fawcett Sarah E., Forrer Heather J., Hashihama Fuminori, Jeandel Catherine, Marconi Dario, Planquette Helene, Saito Mak A., Sohm Jill A., Thomas Rachel K., Letscher Robert T., Knapp Angela N. (2022). A global ocean dissolved organic phosphorus concentration database (DOPv2021). Scientific Data, 9(1), 772 (9p.). Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.1038/s41597-022-01873-7 , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00813/92515/

Fuchs Robin, Thyssen Melilotus, Creach Véronique, Dugenne Mathilde, Izard Lloyd, Latimier Marie, Louchart ArnaudORCID, Marrec Pierre, Rijkeboer Machteld, Grégori Gérald, Pommeret Denys (2022). Automatic recognition of flow cytometric phytoplankton functional groups using convolutional neural networks. Limnology And Oceanography-methods, 20(7), 387-399. Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.1002/lom3.10493 , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00775/88654/

Vivier Frederic, Park Young-Hyang, Sekma Hela, Le Sommer Julien (2015). Variability of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current transport through the Fawn Trough, Kerguelen Plateau. Deep-sea Research Part Ii-topical Studies In Oceanography, 114, 12-26. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr2.2014.01.017

References of Articles published in other Periodicals or Scientific Works acclaimed in the Field


References of Technical Reports

Jeandel Catherine, Planquette Helene (2021). SWINGS Cruise Report. MD229. N/O Marion-Dufresne. Jan 11th-March 8th 2021. https://doi.org/10.13155/83989

References of Articles published in periodicals and magazines for the general public

La depêche du midi. Une expédition toulousaine revient des mers australes, page environnement 07/03/2021

Portrait. Hélène Planquette recherche les poussières de fer dans l'océan, OF du 01/12/20 Une chercheuse brestoise coordonnera la prochaine mission du Marion-Dufresne, Le Telegramme du 05/01/21

Thesis using campaign data

Leseurre Coraline (2022). Mécanismes de contrôle de l’absorption de CO2 anthropique et de l’acidification des eaux dans les océans Atlantique Nord et Indien Austral / Mechanisms controlling anthropogenic CO2 uptake and acidification in North Atlantic and Southern Indian Ocean waters. PhD Thesis, Université Sorbonne.

Fuchs Robin (2022). Méthodes neuronales et données mixtes : vers une meilleure résolution spatio-temporelle des écosystèmes marins et du phytoplancton / Neural methods and mixed data : towards a better spatio-temporal resolution of marine ecosystems and phytoplankton. PhD Thesis, Université d'Aix Marseille.

Levier Martin (2022). Développement et utilisation de l'Actinium-227 comme traceur du mélange de l'océan profond / Development and use of Actinium 227 as a tracer of deep ocean mixing. PhD Thesis, Université Paris-Saclay.