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ctd deployment at shelfbreak front

Roughing it

WHOI physical oceanographer Glen Gawarkiewicz recovers a CTD rosette in heavy weather north of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina in 2005. Gale or storm conditions prevailed during the entire cruise, damaging equipment and requiring the scientific team to make repairs on the fly.

Gawarkiewicz and his colleagues aboard the R/V Oceanus were studying the southern end of the shelfbreak front, a dynamic area along the edge of the continental shelf where water over the relatively shallow shelf meets water over the much deeper continental slope. The collision of the two water masses produces upwelling of nutrients, which leads to rich concentrations of plankton, fish, squid, and whales. Instruments on the CTD measure the temperature and conductivity (salinity) of the water at various depths, allowing the researchers to monitor the location and characteristics of the different water masses.



(Photo by Chris Linder, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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