East Falmouth, MA, United States
East Falmouth, MA, United States

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Andrews B.D.,Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center | Brothers L.L.,University of Maine, United States | Barnhardt W.A.,Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center
Geomorphology | Year: 2010

Seafloor pockmarks occur worldwide and may represent millions of m3 of continental shelf erosion, but few numerical analyses of their morphology and spatial distribution of pockmarks exist. We introduce a quantitative definition of pockmark morphology and, based on this definition, propose a three-step geomorphometric method to identify and extract pockmarks from high-resolution swath bathymetry. We apply this GIS-implemented approach to 25km2 of bathymetry collected in the Belfast Bay, Maine USA pockmark field. Our model extracted 1767 pockmarks and found a linear pockmark depth-to-diameter ratio for pockmarks field-wide. Mean pockmark depth is 7.6m and mean diameter is 84.8m. Pockmark distribution is non-random, and nearly half of the field's pockmarks occur in chains. The most prominent chains are oriented semi-normal to the steepest gradient in Holocene sediment thickness. A descriptive model yields field-wide spatial statistics indicating that pockmarks are distributed in non-random clusters. Results enable quantitative comparison of pockmarks in fields worldwide as well as similar concave features, such as impact craters, dolines, or salt pools. © 2010.

Schroth A.W.,University of Vermont | Crusius J.,University of Washington | Hoyer I.,Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center | Campbell R.,Prince William Sound Science Center
Geophysical Research Letters | Year: 2014

While recent work demonstrates that glacial meltwater provides a substantial and relatively labile flux of the micronutrient iron to oceans, the role of high-latitude estuary environments as a potential sink of glacial iron is unknown. Here we present the first quantitative description of iron removal in a meltwater-dominated estuary. We find that 85% of "dissolved" Fe is removed in the low-salinity region of the estuary along with 41% of "total dissolvable" iron associated with glacial flour. We couple these findings with hydrologic and geochemical data from Gulf of Alaska (GoA) glacierized catchments to calculate meltwater-derived fluxes of size and species partitioned Fe to the GoA. Iron flux data indicate that labile iron in the glacial flour and associated Fe minerals dominate the meltwater contribution to the Fe budget of the GoA. As such, GoA nutrient cycles and related ecosystems could be strongly influenced by continued ice loss in its watershed. © 2014. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Guida V.G.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Valentine P.C.,Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center | Gallea L.B.,Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Georges Bank is a large, shallow feature separating the Gulf of Maine from the Atlantic Ocean. Previous studies demonstrated a strong tidal-mixing front during the warm season on the northern bank margin between thermally stratified water in the Gulf of Maine and mixed water on the bank. Tides transport warm water off the bank during flood tide and cool gulf water onto the bank during ebb tide. During 10 days in August 2009, we mapped frontal temperatures in five study areas along ~100 km of the bank margin. The seabed "frontal zone", where temperature changed with frontal movment, experienced semidiurnal temperature maxima and minima. The tidal excursion of the frontal boundary between stratified and mixed water ranged 6 to 10 km. This "frontal boundary zone" was narrower than the frontal zone. Along transects perpendicular to the bank margin, seabed temperature change at individual sites ranged from 7.0°C in the frontal zone to 0.0°C in mixed bank water. At time series in frontal zone stations, changes during tidal cycles ranged from 1.2 to 6.1°C. The greatest rate of change (-2.48°C hr-1) occurred at mid-ebb. Geographic plots of seabed temperature change allowed the mapping of up to 8 subareas in each study area. The magnitude of temperature change in a subarea depended on its location in the frontal zone. Frontal movement had the greatest effect on seabed temperature in the 40 to 80 m depth interval. Subareas experiencing maximum temperature change in the frontal zone were not in the frontal boundary zone, but rather several km gulfward (off-bank) of the frontal boundary zone. These results provide a new ecological framework for examining the effect of tidally-driven temperature variability on the distribution, food resources, and reproductive success of benthic invertebrate and demersal fish species living in tidal front habitats.

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