1. Physical oceanographic studies focused on the distribution of surface and sub-surface (to 1900 m) water masses and the delineation of hydrographic boundaries. Specifically, North Atlantic sub-tropical mode water (18°C Water) was studied in relation to the phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). In addition, we delineated the boundary between the NE and SE Caribbean Sea based on sea surface salinities and chlorophyll-a fluorescence.
2. Chemical oceanographic studies focused on the geographic and vertical distribution of nutrients (phosphate and silicate) and extracted chlorophyll-a. These chemical parameters were related to patterns in physical hydrography at various scales: nearshore to offshore transitions, ocean fronts and eddies associated with the North Equatorial
Current and island passages, 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.
4. Geological sampling focused on bathymetric transects of continental shelf regions of several Caribbean Islands. Patterns were related to island age and distance from shore. Sea surface temperature, salinity, fluorescence (chlorophyll-a and CDOM) and transmissivity levels; along with barometric pressure, winds, bathymetry, and geographic position were recorded continuously along the cruise track. Surface samples (62) of nutrients (phosphate and silicate) and chlorophyll-a were collected every six hours and in conjunction with all neuston net tows during the cruise track.
Jeffrey M Schell (Sea Education Association)
North West Atlantic Ocean (limit 40W) Caribbean Sea