Thursday, August 30, 2012

Cruise Summary

The first of two cruises, led by Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, will conduct high resolution, multibeam mapping of a series of mid- to outer-shelf banks off the South Texas coast. Only a few of these banks have been mapped in detail previously. We will also use the shipboard ROV to conduct three video transects across as many of the banks as time will allow, moving from seaward to landward over the crests. Voucher specimens will be collected to identify macrofauna in the video transects. Sediment will be sampled at the base of each bank on either side, and rock (fossil coral) samples will be collected when possible with the ROV. Micro and macroalgal studies will also be conducted in the water column and on the banks with particular focus on primary productivity on the banks, possible red tide organism presence, and the presence of other toxic benthic dinoflagellates. An on-deck flow-thru incubator with manipulated light quality/quantity and nutrient content analysis will be used in these experiments. Hydrographic measurements will be made with the CTD rosette above and away from each prominence. Current flow measurements will be mapped with the ADCP.