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SeaSoar Observations of Loss and Retention Processes Over the Southern Flank of Georges Bank
Craig M. Lee- APL, University of Washington
Kenneth H. Brink- Dept. of Physical Oceanography, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Summary March 1997 June 1997 Results People

Georges Bank is a broad, shallow section of continental shelf that supports a productive, though heavily stressed, fishery. Several important fish species have extensive hatching areas on the bank, where their larvae enjoy an increased chance of success. Processes which remove larvae from the bank to the deeper surrounding waters decrease their chances of survival, and thus play a strong role in determining the success of the hatchery. This study examines the physics and biology of several processes which may remove water, nutrients and larvae from the southern flank of Georges Bank. Of specific interest are the effects of Gulf Stream rings, strong wind events and instabilities in the flow along the edge of the bank. A towed, undulating instrument package, known as the SeaSoar, will make physical and biological measurements while cycling between the surface to 10 m off the seabed (or to a maximum depth of 130 m, whichever is shallower). Shipboard instrumentation will measure currents and collect meteorological data.

Our study involved two cruises. The first, which took place from 2-12 March, 1997, was designed to sample the Southern Flank during a period of either weak or no stratification. Our observations straddled a strong storm and captured an intrusion of fresh, cold Scotian Shelf Water that extended along the Bank. A summertime cruise, conducted from 26 June - 6 July, 1997, sampled the Bank following springtime restratification and captured a dramatic, plume-like intrusion of Gulf Stream Water.

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