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A Survey off Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket: Developing Paleoclimatic Records to Complement the "Sustained Ocean Observations" Array

OCCI Project Funded: 2002

Proposed Research

The Deep Western Boundary Current (DWBC) in the North Atlantic is a major branch of the thermohaline circulation and an important component of the global heat balance. A major initiative of the Physical Oceanography (PO) Department at WHOI aims to collect a new dataset on DWBC interannual circulation via moored and hydrographic-velocity-tracer observations on a transect that will extend from the New England shelf to Bermuda. We propose here to piggy back a cruise that will service Station W in the Fall of 2002 in order to acoustically survey (3.5 kHz) and to core on two transects off Martha?s Vineyard and Nantucket. The main goal of our work is to identify subsurface sedimentary features indicative of good paleoclimatic records that could be recovered by coring. If suitable sedimentary records can be recovered on the New England slope we could take advantage of the higher understanding of the DWBC regime that will come from the modern study performed by the PO team to enhance understanding of the paleocirculation at a key, easily accessible location on the path of WHOI ships' cruises.

Originally published: January 1, 2002