Remsen, A. W. University of South Florida, Department of Marine Science, aremsen@marine.usf.edu
Hopkins, T. L. University of South Florida, Department of Marine Science, thopkins@marine.usf.edu
Sutton, T. T. University of South Florida, Department of Marine Science, sutton@marine.usf.edu

 
CHARACTERIZATION OF A LOW SALINITY FEATURE AT AN OCEANIC SITE IN THE GULF OF MEXICO
 
A persistent, low-salinity feature was encountered in an oceanic region of the eastern Gulf of Mexico with noticeable differences in water color and suspended load compared to surrounding waters. Vertical and horizontal sampling using the University of South Florida (USF) High Resolution Sampler (HRS II) was undertaken inside and outside of the feature. Vertical profiles to 200 meters of in-vivo fluorescence, salinity, density and particle abundance proved to be markedly different and indicated the presence of at least two distinct water masses. Extracted chlorophyll, in-vivo fluorescence, and abundance of zooplankton-sized particles were all higher inside the low-salinity feature. Horizontal profiles indicated increased fluorescence readings coupled with concurrent increases in large particle abundance when heading into the low-salinity feature. Phytoplankton composition was also different, with oceanic genera dominant outside the feature and a mixture of neritic and estuarine genera inside of it. The feature sampled correlated with the southern front of an anti-cyclonic gyre visible from SeaWiFS imagery. The impact of such events in otherwise low-productivity systems is examined and possible explanations of the features origins are explored.
 
Day: Thursday, Feb. 4
Time: 11:30 - 11:45am
Location: Hilton of Santa Fe
 
Code: SS04TH1130H