Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Biological response on the shelf

We saw in the earlier posting of satellite chlorophyll climatology for March that Nantucket Shoals and George's Bank are regions of high productivity. The shallow bathymetry combined with wind forcing lead to enhanced mixing, bringing nutrient to the surface for primary producers to use.

The question is what is the biological response on the southern New England shelf right now? We have seen in past satellite images evidence of patches of high chlorophyll water being advected downshelf and away from the Nantucket Shoals. Does such a patch exist currently and is it within the glider's sampling region?

Figure below, generated by COOL lab graduate student Ramya Ramadurai, shows the latest chlorophyll ocean color image for March 11 from the MODIS Aqua satellite. We see patch of high chlorophyll water moving off the Nantucket Shoals downshelf towards the southwest.
We could retask the glider to go check out the high chlorophyll patch. We will need to take prevailing current and shipping lane traffic into consideration however. The decision is yet to be made.

No comments: