Physical-Biological Interactions Resultant from the Confluence of Water Masses on the New Jersey-Delaware Continental Shelf, Spring 2018

Bradley Penta1, Ana E Rice2, Igor Shulman3, Alexis C Hagemeyer4,5, Adam T Greer6,7, John C Lehrter4, Malcolm McFarland8, Aditya R Nayak9, Nicole Stockley8, Benjamin Michael Binder10 and Kevin M Boswell10, (1)US Naval Research Laboratory, Stennis Space Center, MS, United States, (2)U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, Stennis Space Center, MS, United States, (3)US Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC, United States, (4)Dauphin Island Sea Lab, Dauphin Island, AL, United States, (5)US Naval Research Laboratory, AL, United States, (6)University of Southern Mississippi, Department of Marine Science, Stennis Space Center, MS, United States, (7)Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, Marine Sciences, Savannah, GA, United States, (8)Florida Atlantic University, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, Fort Pierce, FL, United States, (9)Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, Ft. Pierce, FL, United States, (10)Florida International University, Biological Sciences, North Miami, FL, United States
Using satellite and in situ data, three distinct water masses were identified on the New Jersey-Delaware continental shelf during the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory’s “InTro” cruise 26 April – 9 May, 2018. Using a combination of moored, free-drifting, autonomous, towed, and hydrographic station-based instrumentation and measurements, we characterize the physical environment and a broad spectrum of the biological community (see Greer et al., this meeting) within these water masses and at their intersections (see Shulman et al., Hagemeyer et al., and Wood et al., this meeting).

While the Delaware River/Bay derived water, Labrador current derived shelf water, and Gulf Stream influenced offshore water each have unique physical and biochemical signatures, the interfaces between the water masses stimulate physical and biological dynamics. We investigate the ecosystem using data from nutrient and pigment analyses, optical sensors (absorption, attenuation, backscatter), flow-cytometry, high-frequency acoustics (up to 2000 kHz), direct sampling (nets), and optical imaging systems. A free-drifting vertical profiler (Wirewalker), instrumented with CTD, bio-optical, nutrient, and acoustic sensors; a tow-yo In Situ Ichthyoplankton Imaging System (ISIIS), augmented with bio-optical instruments; and an autonomous glider, with bio-optics and bioluminescence potential sensors, all provided very high spatial and temporal resolution bio-physical data to supplement more traditional shipborne station-based profiling and water sampling.