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Sediment cores collected during R.V. Polar Sea AOS94 expedition from the Chukchi Shelf to the North Poke were analyzed for several decay-series natural radionuclides and Pu isotopes to study sedimentation rates and pathways of radionuclides in the western Arctic Ocean. The measured sedimentation rates vary by more than three orders of magnitude along the transect, from 210Pb based rates of 200-700 cm kyr-1 over the Chukchi Shelf and 89 cm kyr-1 at the Chukchi Slope to 230Th-based rates of 0.02-0.3 cm kyr-1 at various settings in the deep basin. 230Th(ex) profiles in the central western Arctic Basin are characterized by a cyclic pattern and a pronounced sub-surface maximum superimposed on an overall decrease with...
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Analyses of CTD and moored current meter data from 1998 and 2000 reveal a number of mechanisms influencing the flow along the western coast of Maine. On occasions, the Eastern Maine Coastal Current extends into the western Gulf of Maine where it takes the form of a deep (order 100 m deep) and broad (order 20 km wide) southwestward flow with geostrophic velocities exceeding 20 cm s -1. This is not a coastally trapped flow, however. In fields of geostrophic velocity, computed from shipboard-CTD data, the core of this current is roughly centered at the 100 m isobath and its onshore edge is no closer than 10 km from the coast. Geostrophic velocity fields also reveal a relatively shallow (order 10 m deep) baroclinic...
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The Gulf of Maine Coastal Current (GMCC), which extends from southern Nova Scotia to Cape Cod Massachusetts, was investigated from 1998 to 2001 by means of extensive hydrographic surveys, current meter moorings, tracked drifters, and satellite-derived thermal imagery. The study focused on two principal branches of the GMCC, the Eastern Maine Coastal Current (EMCC) that extends along the eastern coast of Maine to Penobscot Bay, and the Western Maine Coastal Current (WMCC) that extends westward from Penobscot Bay to Massachusetts Bay. Results confirm that GMCC is primarily a pressure gradient-driven system with both principal branches increasing their transport in the spring and summer due to fresh-water inflows,...
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A bioenergetic model of juvenile pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) was used to estimate daily prey consumption and growth potential of four ocean habitats in the Gulf of Alaska during 2001 and 2002. Growth potential was not significantly higher in 2002 than in 2001 at an alpha level of 0.05 (P=0.073). Average differences in growth potential across habitats were minimal (slope habitat=0.844 g d-1, shelf habitat=0.806 g d-1, offshore habitat=0.820 g d-1, and nearshore habitat=0.703 g d-1) and not significantly different (P=0.630). Consumption demand differed significantly between hatchery and wild stocks (P=0.035) when examined within year due to the interaction between hatchery verses wild origin and year. However,...
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Icebreaker-based sampling in the northern Bering Sea south of St. Lawrence Island in March of 2008, 2009, and 2010 has provided new data on overall ecosystem function early in the annual productive cycle. While water-column chlorophyll concentrations (<25 mg m−2 integrated over the whole water column) are two orders of magnitude lower than observed during the spring bloom in May, sea-ice algal inventories of chlorophyll are high (up to 1 g m−3 in the bottom 2-cm of sea-ice). Vertical fluxes of chlorophyll as measured in sediment traps were between 0.3 to 3.7 mg m−2 d−1 and were consistent with the recent deposition (days to weeks time scale) of chlorophyll to the surface sediments (0–25 mg m−2 present at 0–1 cm)....
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Scleractinian corals have a global distribution ranging from shallow tropical seas to the depths of the Southern Ocean. Although this distribution is indicative of the corals having a tolerance to a wide spectrum of environmental conditions, individual species seem to be restricted to a much narrower range of ecosystem variables. One way to ascertain the tolerances of corals, with particular focus on the potential impacts of changing climate, is to reconstruct their growth history across a range of environmental regimes. This study examines the spatial and temporal distribution of the solitary scleractinian corals Desmophyllum dianthus, Gardineria antarctica, Balanophyllia malouinensis, Caryophyllia spp. and Flabellum...
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The impact of the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon (DWH) spill on deep-sea coral communities in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) is still under investigation, as is the potential for these communities to recover. Impacts from the spill include observation of corals covered with flocculent material, with bare skeleton, excessive mucous production, sloughing tissue, and subsequent colonization of damaged areas by hydrozoans. Information on growth rates and life spans of deep-sea corals is important for understanding the vulnerability of these ecosystems to both natural and anthropogenic perturbations, as well as the likely duration of any observed adverse impacts. We report radiocarbon ages and radial and linear growth rates...
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The Kimki Ridge fluid seeps are located in western Catalina Basin about 60 km southwest of the southern California mainland and at a water depth of approximately 1100 m. Multichannel seismic reflection profiles collected by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in 2014 show acoustic transparency within the Kimki Ridge, suggesting the possibility of fluid seeps and possible sub-seafloor fluid pathways. Subsequent multibeam bathymetric and backscatter intensity data collected during a cooperative University of Washington/USGS cruise in early 2016 show subtle seafloor buildups with high acoustic backscatter (reflectivity) in three places along Kimki Ridge, supporting the existence of fluid seepage. A Remotely Operated...
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In accord with the hypotheses driving the Southern Ocean Global Ocean Ecosystems Dynamics (SO GLOBEC) program, we tested the hypothesis that the winter foraging ecology of a major top predator in waters off the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP), the Adélie penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae), is constrained by oceanographic features related to the physiography of the region. This hypothesis grew from the supposition that breeding colonies in the WAP during summer are located adjacent to areas of complex bathymetry where circulation and upwelling processes appear to ensure predictable food resources. Therefore, we tested the additional hypothesis that these areas continue to contribute to the foraging strategy of this species...
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We tested the hypothesis that increased growth of salmon during early marine life contributed to greater survival and abundance of salmon following the 1976/1977 climate regime shift and that this, in turn, led to density-dependent reductions in growth during late marine stages. Annual measurements of Bristol Bay (Bering Sea) and Chignik (Gulf of Alaska) sockeye salmon scale growth from 1955 to 2002 were used as indices of body growth. During the first and second years at sea, growth of both stocks tended to be higher after the 1976-1977 climate shift, whereas growth during the third year and homeward migration was often below average. Multiple regression models indicated that return per spawner of Bristol Bay sockeye...
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Gravel habitats on continental shelves around the world support productive fisheries but are also vulnerable to disturbance from bottom fishing. We conducted a 2-year in situ experiment to measure the rate of colonization of a gravel habitat on northern Georges Bank in an area closed to fishing (Closed Area II) since December 1994. Three large (0.25 m2) sediment trays containing defaunated pebble gravel were deployed at a study site (47 m water depth) in July 1997 and recovered in June 1999. The undersides of the tray lids positioned 56 cm above the trays served as settlement panels over the same time period. We observed rapid colonization of the gravel substrate (56 species) and the settlement panels (35 species),...
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Hydrocarbon seeps support distinct benthic communities capable of tolerating extreme environmental conditions and utilizing reduced chemical compounds for nutrition. In recent years, several locations of methane seepage have been mapped along the U.S. Atlantic continental slope. In 2012 and 2013, two newly discovered seeps were investigated in this region: a shallow site near Baltimore Canyon (BCS, 366–412 m) and a deep site near Norfolk Canyon (NCS, 1467–1602 m), with both sites containing extensive chemosynthetic mussel bed and microbial mat habitats. Sediment push cores, suction samples, and Ekman box cores were collected to quantify the abundance, diversity, and community structure of benthic macrofauna (>300...
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During the 40 years (and counting) of his scientific career, J. Frederick Grassle has made fundamental contributions to our understanding of marine ecosystems from coral reefs to deep-sea sediments. His advocacy and passion for marine biodiversity in the form of myriad groundbreaking studies and influential reviews, his generosity of ideas and capacity to catalyze and inspire those working with him as well as the science community in general, his breakthroughs in improved ocean observation, his marine science infrastructure initiatives, together with his tireless persistence, have helped lead to major shifts in approaches to marine science and the shape of modern ocean studies to one that favours multidisciplinary...
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Waters off the western Antarctic Peninsula (i.e., the eastern Bellingshausen Sea) are unusually complex owing to the convergence of several major fronts. Determining the relative influence of fronts on occurrence patterns of top-trophic species in that area, therefore, has been challenging. In one of the few ocean-wide seabird data syntheses, in this case for the Southern Ocean, we analyzed ample, previously collected cruise data, Antarctic-wide, to determine seabird species assemblages and quantitative relationships to fronts as a way to provide context to the long-term Palmer LTER and the winter Southern Ocean GLOBEC studies in the eastern Bellingshausen Sea. Fronts investigated during both winter (April–September)...
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The 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill damaged a wide range of natural resources, including intertidal communities, and post-spill studies demonstrated acute and chronic exposure and injury to an array of species. Standard toxicological methods to evaluate petroleum contaminants have assessed tissue burdens, with fewer assays providing indicators of health or physiology, particularly when contaminant levels are low and chronic. Marine mussels are a ubiquitous and crucial component of the nearshore environment, and new genomic technologies exist to quantify molecular responses of individual mussels to stimuli, including exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). We used gene-based assays of exposure and physiological...
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In accord with the hypotheses driving the Southern Ocean Global Ocean Ecosystems Dynamics (SO GLOBEC) program, we tested the hypothesis that the winter foraging ecology of a major top predator in waters off the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP), the Adélie penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae), is constrained by oceanographic features related to the physiography of the region. This hypothesis grew from the supposition that breeding colonies in the WAP during summer are located adjacent to areas of complex bathymetry where circulation and upwelling processes appear to ensure predictable food resources. Therefore, we tested the additional hypothesis that these areas continue to contribute to the foraging strategy of this species...
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To test the feasibility of using lithium isotopes in marine ferromanganese deposits as an indicator of paleoceanographic conditions and seawater composition, we analyzed samples from a variety of tectonic environments in the global ocean. Hydrogenetic, hydrothermal, mixed hydrogenetic–hydrothermal, and hydrogenetic–diagenetic samples were subjected to a two-step leaching and dissolution procedure to extract first the loosely bound Li and then the more tightly bound Li in the Mn oxide and Fe oxyhydroxide. Total leachable Li contents vary from <1 ppm in hydrogenetic crusts to 1422 ppm (up to 1188 ppm measured here) in hydrothermal deposits. Hydrated Li ions in seawater and hydrothermal fluids are preferentially sorbed...
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Cysts of Alexandrium fundyense, a dinoflagellate that causes toxic algal blooms in the Gulf of Maine, spend the winter as dormant cells in the upper layer of bottom sediment or the bottom nepheloid layer and germinate in spring to initiate new blooms. Erosion measurements were made on sediment cores collected at seven stations in the Gulf of Maine in the autumn of 2011 to explore if resuspension (by waves and currents) could change the distribution of over-wintering cysts from patterns observed in the previous autumn; or if resuspension could contribute cysts to the water column during spring when cysts are viable. The mass of sediment eroded from the core surface at 0.4 Pa ranged from 0.05 kg m−2 near Grand Manan...
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The short-tailed albatross (Phoebastria albatrus) is a rare and endangered seabird that ranges widely over the northern North Pacific. Populations are slowly recovering but birds face several threats at sea, in particular the incidental capture of birds in long-line fisheries. Conservation efforts are hampered by a lack of information about the at-sea distribution of this species, especially knowledge of where it may predictably co-occur with long-line fishing effort. During 18 years of transiting the Aleutian Islands Unit of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge on a research vessel, we observed short-tailed albatross on 65 occasions. They were consistently observed near Ingenstrem Rocks (Buldir Pass) in...
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We used satellite telemetry, remotely sensed data (bathymetry, chlorophyll a (chl a), sea-surface temperature (SST), wind speed) and first-passage time (FPT) analysis to determine the distribution, movement patterns, and habitat associations of short-tailed albatrosses (Phoebastria albatrus) during the non-breeding season, 2002 and 2003. Satellite transmitters were deployed on birds immediately prior to their departure from a breeding colony at Torishima, Japan (n = 11), or at-sea in the Aleutian Islands (n = 3). Tracking durations ranged from 51 to 138 days for a total of 6709 locations after filtering (131 - 808 per bird). FPT (time required to transit a circle of given radius) revealed the location and spatial...


map background search result map search result map Linkages between sea-ice coverage, pelagic-benthic coupling, and the distribution of spectacled eiders: observations in March 2008, 2009 and 2010, northern Bering Sea Investigating the importance of sediment resuspension in <i>Alexandrium fundyense</i> cyst population dynamics in the Gulf of Maine Temporal and spatial distributions of cold-water corals in the Drake Passage: insights from the last 35,000 years Investigating the importance of sediment resuspension in <i>Alexandrium fundyense</i> cyst population dynamics in the Gulf of Maine Temporal and spatial distributions of cold-water corals in the Drake Passage: insights from the last 35,000 years Linkages between sea-ice coverage, pelagic-benthic coupling, and the distribution of spectacled eiders: observations in March 2008, 2009 and 2010, northern Bering Sea