The first MarCOOS glider is deployed for the 2010 field season. We have deployed ru22 and we will begin a month long journey heading down south to our most excellent partners. We will add a second glider in the next few weeks to give us a northern view of the Mid-Atlantic shelf. Both efforts are timed to coincide with NMFS cruises to be conducted over the next month. The glider deployment was accomplished just prior to the storm arriving on Tuesday night. Since the storm arrival the surface currents have increased significantly in intensity as seen by the MARCOOS HF radar network.
Over the last 12 hours the currents in southern Mid-Atlantic bite have increased, and therefore it is not surprising that the glider progress has been limited, and the strong currents are carrying it to the south, slightly off it current waypoint offshore. However given the strong currents the glider is making good progress. The glider shows some minor physical structure. The major feature is a plume of low salinity water in nearshore waters. Temperature shows very little variability and shows some minimal structure.
The glider temperatures agree with the available SST imagery. Heavy cloud cover has limited our remote sensing this week. But generally, what good images we did have, show cold temperatures on the shelf with the coldest waters found near-shore associated with the low salinity water. The absolute temperatures measured by the satellites and the glider are in good agreement.
The low salinity water has enhanced colored dissolved organic matter, however there is no indication yet of much structure in the phytoplankton communities, therefore we are in a good position to capture the spring bloom in the coming weeks depending on the seasonal warming trends. Those warming trends,,, I am ready for! Highest chlorophyll is found at depth near-shore and optical backscatter (data not shown) shows no structure. So while the storm was whipped up big currents it has not yet resuspended the sea floor. Something to follow over the next day.
More tomorrow, lets see what the end of the storm brings us!