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The Internal Weather of the Sea

July 1, 2005

Currents, fronts and eddies, often called the internal weather of the sea, are major components of ocean circulation and can change the chemical and biological environment in the ocean. Four cruises are being conducted as part of the Eddy Dynamics, Mixing, Export and Species composition (EDDIES) project to quantify the impacts of eddies and mixing on plankton community structure and biogeochemical cycling in the Sargasso Sea. The WHOI research vessel Oceanus will conduct joint operations on several cruises with the R/V Weatherbird II from the Bermuda Biological Station for Research between July and mid-September. Target eddy features are being identified with satellite data and then studied in detail with shipboard measurements. Of particular interest is an eddy 150 miles southwest of Bermuda that appears to be fueling a plankton bloom. For more information on the project see Eddie Project Web site.