Here’s the most recent plot of our Scanfish transects, showing 1) how far east we’ve come on the cruise, and 2) the presence of both bottom and mid-water hypoxia.
The second plot shows a blow up of only the last two transects we did with the Scanfish, in which you can see the structure in the oxygen signal. Note the ‘blob’ of red water on the eastern transect that looks like it is coming up off the bottom. It very wall may be doing that – upwelling and moving offshore. I’m not sure about the mechanism, but I can imagine the impacts that might have on the animal swimming around. Now, the ones above that blob may have a false bottom, concentrating them in the surface layers, while ones below the blob and above the bottom water hypoxia have a false ceiling. Of course the actual implications are not known yet, but it is one of those questions I’m particularly interested in – how do the animals respond with complicated water column properties like this?
Of course you also have to know how they respond when the water column looks boring – meaning very little structure, and so the interesting part comes from comparing all these different transects, and years of data to see where the differences are.
Update on our progress: We are now sailing southwest along the “C” line. This line has been sampled for a long time and has quite a history of oceanographic data collection. In fact, our group has published data from this line in at least 3 publications. There is actually a mooring at station C6 on this line, and if the internet connection were a bit better I’d put a link up, but right now it’s not terribly strong and I’m just trying to get this off. But things are going well, considering the setbacks and the frantic set-up for this “RAPID” grant. We have not seen oil visibly anywhere, but we are taking samples and will be analyzing some of the electronic data to determine if there is a signal from it anywhere in our sampling area. I should be able to get a couple more posts up in the coming days before returning to life on shore.