1. Physical oceanographic studies focused on the distribution of surface and sub-surface (to 1200 m) water masses and the delineation of hydrographic boundaries. Specifically, North Atlantic sub-tropical mode water (18°C Water) and Antarctic Intermediate Water (AAIW) was studied in relation to the phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). In addition, we conducted a comparison of sea surface temperature using historic (bucket thermometer) and contemporary (electronic thermister from a seawater intake system) instrumentation.
2. Chemical oceanographic studies focused on the geographic and vertical distribution of nutrients (phosphate, silicate), and extracted chlorophyll-a. These chemical parameters were related to patterns in physical hydrography at various scales: sub-tropical convergence, ocean fronts and eddies associated with the North Equatorial Current, and water column stratification.
3. Biological studies focused on the geographic distribution of charismatic megafauna (seabirds, sea turtles, flying fish, and marine mammals), several meroplanktonic larvae including spiny lobster (phyllosoma) and eels (leptocephali), the floating macrophyte - Sargassum spp., and the density (mL/m2) and diversity (i.e. Shannon-Weiner index) of the aggregate zooplankton community. In addition, patterns of phytoplankton community structure were examined along the cruise track.
4. Geological sampling focused on bathymetric transects across numerous tectonic features (e.g. island hot spots, mid-ocean ridge, abyssal plains, and subduction zone), bathymetric mapping of Researcher Ridge, and sediment collection on Researcher Ridge and continental shelf regions of several Caribbean Islands.
Jeffrey M Schell (Sea Education Association)
North Atlantic Ocean Caribbean Sea
Canary Current, Sargasso Sea, North Equatorial Current (NEC) region, Eastern Caribbean