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May 16, 2008 - Massachusetts Bay Update

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Alexandrium surface live counts (left panel), R/V Tioga May 15-16, 2008, and near surface salinity (right panel)

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Alexandrium surface live counts (left panel), R/V Tioga May 15-16, 2008, and near surface salinity (right panel)
(D. Anderson laboratory, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

As part of the GOMTOX program, a two-day Alexandrium survey in Mass Bay was completed late this week after strong winds and rough seas from the recent nor’easter subsided.

Live counts from surface Niskin samples indicated that the Alexandrium sp. population has now penetrated into Massachusetts and Cape Cod Bays. Alexandrium sp. concentrations were observed at 1400 cells/L near Annisquam (north of Cape Ann) in very low salinity waters (25.5 PSU and 10.8 C). About 5-10 nm to the south and east of Cape Ann, >2000 cells/L were observed within low salinity waters entering the Bays (approximately 28.1 PSU and 10-11 C). Concentrations of approximately 1000-2000 cells/L extended further into Mass Bay offshore of Boston and along the south shore near Scituate, MA. The highest concentrations observed in Cape Cod Bay were approximately 500 cells/L located about 8nm northeast of the east entrance to the Cape Cod Canal. At this time in mid-May, these concentrations are strikingly similar to those reported in Mass Bay during the beginning of the 2005 outbreak.

A map posting the results from the live count observations and near surface salinity is posted on the right.

Thanks to the Captain and crew of the R/V Tioga (Ken and Ian) and especially to the other members of the science party (Kerry Norton, Stacey Lee, Bibiana Crespo), who worked very diligently to help collect the samples and data. Without their hard work and a little slot in the weather, this critical mission would not have been possible.

Still rocking,
Bruce Keafer

Last updated: July 1, 2019

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