The Seascapes

The Seascapes

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

South toward Norfolk Canyon

After a successful repair in Cape May yesterday, the Karen Elizabeth headed south east toward our southernmost hotspot in the buterfish model. Along the way they stopped at a mid-shelf station (Station 12) off the coast of the Delmarva Peninsula (below).

Here are some of John's notes on Station 12: 'This is a cold habitat station midshelf. We now have 3 temperature depth sensors on the net. One on each door. One has a live feed to the surface, one is recording with a sampling rate of 1/sec. Chris has added a second recording temperature/depth sensor to the headrope to measure its height over the bottom.'

After finishing Station 12 last night, they continued south to the hotspot off the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. Stations 13 and 14 were done at about 3:00am and 6:00am local time. In all three stations conducted last night, the tows came up empty of butterfish.

In addition to the ocean environmental variables that go into the butterfish model, there is a time of day term. This is quantified as the sun's elevation relative to the horizon. We see a strong day/night variation in the model that has been confirmed by the fisherman. Below is the same area of our model with a prediction of butterfish habitat during the day. The previous image above is the same region at night.

You can see the hotspot surrounding the Karen Elizabeth light up during the day in the model. It will be very interesting to see how the sampling and acoustics today differ from last night's.

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