Phytoplankton Distributions in Relation to Mesoscale Physical Processes
MIAMI UNIV FL ROSENSTIEL SCHOOL OF MARINE AND ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE
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LONG TERM GOALS. A principal objective of biological oceanographers is to determine the role of physical, chemical and biological processes that regulate the distribution of marine organisms. Plankton have a central role in marine ecosystems, since they form the base of pelagic food chains. Knowledge of the dynamics of phytoplankton and zooplankton populations is also essential to model the optical and acoustic properties of the sea. Our ability to understand and model plankton dynamics is complicated by their patchy spatial and temporal distributions that occur across a wide range of scales. Our primary long term goal has been to study the role of mesoscale physical processes in regulating the distribution of marine phytoplankton. A second long term goal has been to develop Lagrangian sampling techniques for these studies. OBJECTIVES. This year our primary objective has been to interpret plankton distributions in the Arabian Sea during the 1995 summer monsoon. Data was primarily collected on the NOAA Ship Baldrige during two cruises in 1995 that extended across the basin, from 8 N to the coast of Oman. The observations compliment the Joint Global Ocean Flux Study JGOFS, which concentrated on the interior Arabian Sea. A second objective was to revise the design of an expendable solid-state fluorometer for deployments in Lagrangian platforms. This objective was based on the results of a cooperative effort with Webb Research, Inc. to design and construct profiling float-fluorometers designated ALACE B. These units were deployed in field trials in 1996. The results of those sea trials indicated that a low-power, expendable excitation source had to be developed for long-term fluorometer deployments in subsurface platforms Hitchcock and Dorson, 1997.
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography