The concentrations and distributions of more than 18 trace metals were recently measured in both deep and surface waters of the Atlantic Ocean by two international sampling efforts. The measurements serve a dual purpose: they are valuable for monitoring elemental concentrations and also have the power to reveal biogeochemical processes that affect trace metals. This information is critically important for predicting the fate of any potential contaminant in the marine environment. Preliminary results from the two surveys show that the major water masses in the Atlantic have characteristic trace metal signatures and that the simultaneous use of multiple tracers to unravel geochemical questions is quite promising.