Bromine Latitudinal Air/Sea Transect

Project Description
The Bromine Latitudinal Air/Sea Transect (BLAST) expeditions by
NOAA/CMDL consisted of 3 cruises. BLAST I in 1994 in the Eastern
Pacific Ocean, BLAST II, also in 1994 in the Atlantic Ocean, and BLAST
III in 1996 in the Southern Oceans near Antarctica.
The BLAST I 1994 expedition was intended to test the reliabilty of a
gas chromatograph / mass spectrometer (GC/MS) combination instrument
at sea and then measure methyl bromide (CH3Br) in the marine air and
the surface waters of the East Pacific Ocean to determine whether the
ocean is a source or a sink for this compound. Along with methyl
bromide, about 20 other compounds in both air and surface waters was
measured. The BLAST I expedition started in Seattle, WA, crossed
several regions of the East Pacific and reached the inland passage of
Chile at 41 degrees S, and finally Punta Arenas, Chile, at 54 degrees
S about 4.5 weeks after its beginning. The NOAA Ship Discoverer (R
102) was used in the BLAST I expedition.
The BLAST II 1994 cruise was a continuation of the BLAST I 94 mission
in order to verify findings from the first cruise, but in the Atlantic
Ocean rather than the Pacific. In addition to all compounds that were
measured during BLAST 94, other halogenated methanes were also
measured. The cruise covered an equally wide latitudinal range as
BLAST 94, similar oceanic regimes such as coastal and coastally
influenced waters, upwelling regions and open ocean gyres, but
slightly different seasons, fall in the northern hemisphere and spring
in the southern hemisphere. The entire cruise was almost 5 weeks long
and was conducted between 18 October, 1994 and 21 November, 1994. The
data for methyl bromide basically confirmed what was seen during BLAST
I 94 and contributed valuable information to NOAA/CMDL's database for
methyl halides. The ship FS Polarstern, used for the BLAST II
expedition, operates out of Bremerhaven, Germany, and is run by the
Alfred Wegener Polarforschung mainly as a research vessel and supply
ship for the German Antarctica station Georg von Neumayer.
The BLAST III cruise was conducted between February 22nd and April
7th, 1996 from McMurdo, Antarctica, along the coast and through the
ice of Antarctica to Punta Arenas, Chile. This cruise was a
continuation of previous BLAST cruises. The main focus on these
expeditions has been the measurement of methyl bromide and a suite of
other methyl halides, very similar to the setup during BLAST II. The
ship Nathanial Palmer, used for the BLAST III expedition, is operated
by Antarctic Support Associates which headquarters located in
Englewood, Colorado.
Net Sink for Atmospheric CH3Br in the East Pacific Ocean, J.M. Lobert,
J.H. Butler, S.A. Montzka, L.S. Geller, R.C. Myers, and J.W. Elkins,
Science 267, 1002-1005 (1995)
BLAST 94: Bromine Latitudinal Air/Sea Transect 1994: Report on Oceanic
Measurements of Methyl Bromide and Other Compounds. J.M. Lobert,
J.H. Butler, L.S. Geller, S.A. Yvon, S.A. Montzka, R.C. Myers, A.D.
Clarke, and J.W. Elkins. NOAA Technical Memorandum ERL CMDL-10.
The Latitudinal Distribution of Atmospheric Sulfur Hexafluoride,
L.S. Geller, J.W. Elkins, R.C. Myers, J.M. Lobert, and J.H. Butler.
submitted to GRL (1996).
The distribution and cycling of halogenated trace gases between the
atmosphere and ocean. J.H. Butler, J.M. Lobert, S.A. Yvon, and
L.S. Geller. In: G. Kattnetterer (eds.), The Expedition ANTARKTIS XII
of FS Polarstern in 1994/95, Reports of Legs ANT XII/1 and 2.
Berichte zur Polarforschung, Vol 168, 27-40, 1995. Bremerhaven,
Germany: Alfred Wegener Instir Polar- und Meeresforschung.
Undersaturations of CH3Br in the Southern Ocean, J.M. Lobert,
S.A. Yvon-Lewis, J.H. Butler, S.A. Montzka, and R.C. Myers,
Geophys. Res. Lett., 24(2), 171-172, 1997.
BLAST I Contacts:
James H. Butler +1 303 497 6898 (tel) 6290 (fax)
Jurgen M. Lobert +1 303 497 7006 (tel) 7850 (fax)
BLAST II and III Contacts:
James H. Butler +1 303 497 6898 (tel) 6290 (fax)
Jurgen M. Lobert +1 303 497 7006 (tel) 7850 (fax)
Shari A. Yvon +1 303 497 7015 (tel) 7850 (fax)
Data are available on the NOAA/CMDL/NOAH anonymous FTP account:
For more information see: