The Southern Ocean is considered a nutrient ‘hub’ between the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans, but the sources, sinks and processes controlling the distribution of these nutrients are presently unknown.

SWINGS is a multidisciplinary project that aims to identify the sources, transformations and sinks of trace elements and isotopes along a section of the Southern Indian Ocean (SIO). The SWINGS project – France’s major contribution to the international GEOTRACES Programme ( – involves 78 scientists from 19 laboratories in 6 countries in a 63-day oceanographic mission in the SIO with 47 participants on board the survey vessel.

The SWINGS project’s strategy is based on closely combining physical oceanography, biogeochemistry and modelling.

As the first year of the project, 2020 will be devoted to preparing for the survey mission, which is scheduled for early 2021 (summer in the southern hemisphere), aboard the Marion-Dufresne. Data analysis, validation and interpretation will begin in 2021 in the northern hemisphere.

Research centers
  • - Université de Toulouse, LEGOS UMR 5566, Toulouse (31)  [Project Developer]
  • - CEA-SACLAY Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement (LSCE), UMR 8212, Gif-sur-Yvette
  • - CERFACS, Laboratoire Climat, Environnement, Couplages et Incertitudes (CECI), Toulouse
  • - Council for Scientific and Industrial Research / Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observatory CSIR-SOCCO, Cape Town (Afrique du Sud)
  • - Duke University / Biogeochemistry & Ecophysiology, DU-B&E, Durham (USA)
  • - Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich, ETHZ / Institute for Geochemistry and Petrology Zurich (Suisse)
  • - Florida University / Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmopsheric Science FU-DEOAS Tallahassee (USA)
  • - Institut Méditerranéen d'Océanographie-Université d'Aix-Marseille, MIO-AMU, Marseille
  • - Laboratoire AD2M (UMR7144), Station biologique de Roscoff
  • - Laboratoire d'Océanographie Microbienne (LOMIC, UMR 7621), Banyuls
  • - Max Planck Institute for Chemistry / Climate Geochemistry Department MPI-CCGD, Mayence (Allemagne)
  • - Sorbonne Université Laboratoire d'Océanographie et du Climat, Paris
  • - Stellenbosch University / Department of Earth Sciences SU-DEAS, Stellenbosch (Afrique du Sud)
  • - UBO, Laboratoire d'Océanographie Physique et Spatiale (LOPS), Brest (29)
  • - UBO, Laboratoire des sciences de l'Environnement MARin, LEMAR (UMR 6539), Brest
  • - Université de Toulouse, Géosciences Environnement Toulouse, UMR 5563, Toulouse
  • - Washington University / The School of Oceanography WU-SO, Seattle (USA)
  • - Woodshole Oceanographic Institution / Marine Bioiorganic Chemistry WHOI-MBC, Woods Hole (USA)
Agence Nationale de la Recherche
Overall budget
4418 K€