Project: North Atlantic Bloom Experiment 2008
NAB2008 was a process experiment designed to study an important component of the oceanic carbon system - the North Atlantic spring bloom. The phytoplankton bloom occurring each spring in the North Atlantic, drives the uptake of carbon dioxide and is an important component of the biological pump (Bagniewski et al., 2010). Previous studies in this region have shown the importance of small temporal and spatial scales, i.e. ecosystem patchiness, during the bloom, but were restricted by the limitations of ship-based sampling. Recent advances in autonomous platforms and sensors presented an opportunity to study this important event in a new way. In addition to deployment of a diverse suite of in situ sampling devices, NAB2008 was also a test-bed for developing the strategies and knowledge needed to successfully use new methods to drive the next generation of ocean observations.
In 2008, a coordinated deployment of 1 float, 4 Seagliders and 2 research vessels sampled the evolution of the North Atlantic spring bloom along and surrounding the nearly Lagrangian path followed by the float. The autonomous measurements were continuous through the experimental period, and included CTD, chlorophyll fluorescence, optical backscatter, and oxygen on all platforms; and nitrate, optical attenuation, and various radiance measurements on the float. Velocities were determined from the vehicle motion, with the float extending to a depth of 230 meters and gliders to 1,000 meters. The autonomous vehicles were deployed, rescued, and recovered on three cruises of the Icelandic vessel Bjarni Saemundsson. A 21-day cruise of the R/V Knorr conducted more detailed measurements during the peak of the bloom in May. The R/V Knorr sampling program included optical profiles, ADCP data and analysis of water samples for nutrients, particulate organic carbon, pigments, micro-plankton composition, complemented by guest investigator analyses. Data from both ships were used to calibrate and validate the autonomous measurements.
Bagniewski, W., Fennel, K., Perry, M. J., and D'Asaro, E. A. (2010) Optimizing models of the North Atlantic spring bloom using physical, chemical and bio-optical observations from a Lagrangian float, Biogeosciences Discuss., 7, pp. 8477-8520, doi:10.5194/bgd-7-8477-2010
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