|Objectives||1. Physical oceanographic studies focused on identification of surface fronts and associated mesoscale eddy features along the Gulf Stream eastern edge and the sub-tropical convergence zone. Sub-surface features examined were the depth of the surface, mixed layer and geographic extent of N01th Atlantic sub-tropical mode water (18N mode water).
2. Chemical oceanographic studies focused on surface patterns in nutrient (P04, Si02), pH, and chlorophyll-a concentration. Patterns in physio-chemical prope1ties were then correlated with numerous biological components.
3. Biological studies focused on the geographic distribution of zoo plankton, Sargassum weed and associated fauna, several meroplanktonic lm·vae including lobster (phyllosoma), eel larvae (leptocephali) and scombrid fish larvae, as well as the lantern fish (Myctophidae), the marine insect Halobates, and finally the abundance and taxonomic composition of gelatinous (cnidarian,
ctenophore, salp) micronekton (>2cm length).
4. Pollution studies examined the geographic distribution of floating plastics (pellets and pieces) and tar balls. In addition, select pieces of plastic (>2cm in length) were processed using the EPA Coliquant bacteria culture kit to test for the presence/absence of various coliform bacteria colonies including Escherichia coli.
5. Geological samples were collected along the Florida Shelf and Blake Plateau and sieved to isolate pteropod shells from the sediment. Collected pteropod shells were used in an ocean acidification experiment. No further quantitative analysis of sediments was conducted.
Sea surface temperature, salinity, fluorescence (chlorophyll-a and CDOM) and tramnissivity levels, along with barometric pressure, winds, bathymetry, currents (to 600m), and geographic position were recorded continuously along the cruise track. Surface samples (49) of nutrients (phosphate and silicate), pH, and chlorophyll-a were collected routinely along the cruise track.