Sosik Heidi M.

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Heidi M.

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  • Working Paper
    Standards and practices for reporting plankton and other particle observations from images
    (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2021-07-26) Neeley, Aimee ; Beaulieu, Stace E. ; Proctor, Chris ; Cetinić, Ivona ; Futrelle, Joe ; Soto Ramos, Inia ; Sosik, Heidi M. ; Devred, Emmanuel ; Karp-Boss, Lee ; Picheral, Marc ; Poulton, Nicole ; Roesler, Collin S. ; Shepherd, Adam
    This technical manual guides the user through the process of creating a data table for the submission of taxonomic and morphological information for plankton and other particles from images to a repository. Guidance is provided to produce documentation that should accompany the submission of plankton and other particle data to a repository, describes data collection and processing techniques, and outlines the creation of a data file. Field names include scientificName that represents the lowest level taxonomic classification (e.g., genus if not certain of species, family if not certain of genus) and scientificNameID, the unique identifier from a reference database such as the World Register of Marine Species or AlgaeBase. The data table described here includes the field names associatedMedia, scientificName/ scientificNameID for both automated and manual identification, biovolume, area_cross_section, length_representation and width_representation. Additional steps that instruct the user on how to format their data for a submission to the Ocean Biodiversity Information System (OBIS) are also included. Examples of documentation and data files are provided for the user to follow. The documentation requirements and data table format are approved by both NASA’s SeaWiFS Bio-optical Archive and Storage System (SeaBASS) and the National Science Foundation’s Biological and Chemical Oceanography Data Management Office (BCO-DMO).
  • Article
    Ephemeral surface chlorophyll enhancement at the New England shelf break driven by Ekman restratification
    (American Geophysical Union, 2021-12-28) Oliver, Hilde ; Zhang, Weifeng G. ; Archibald, Kevin M. ; Hirzel, Andrew ; Smith, Walker O. ; Sosik, Heidi M. ; Stanley, Rachel H. R. ; McGillicuddy, Dennis J.
    The Mid-Atlantic Bight (MAB) hosts a large and productive marine ecosystem supported by high phytoplankton concentrations. Enhanced surface chlorophyll concentrations at the MAB shelf-break front have been detected in synoptic measurements, yet this feature is not present in seasonal means. To understand why, we assess the conditions associated with enhanced surface chlorophyll at the shelf break. We employ in-situ and remote sensing data, and a 2-dimensional model to show that Ekman restratification driven by upfront winds drives ephemerally enhanced chlorophyll concentrations at the shelf-break front in spring. Using 8-day composite satellite-measured surface chlorophyll concentration data from 2003–2020, we constructed a daily running mean (DRM) climatology of the cross-shelf chlorophyll distribution for the northern MAB region. While the frontal enhancement of chlorophyll is apparent in the DRM climatology, it is not captured in the seasonal climatology due to its short duration of less than a week. In-situ measurements of the frontal chlorophyll enhancement reveal that chlorophyll is highest in spring when the shelf-break front slumps offshore from its steep wintertime position causing restratification in the upper part of the water column. Several restratification mechanisms are possible, but the first day of enhanced chlorophyll at the shelf break corresponds to increasing upfront winds, suggesting that the frontal restratification is driven by offshore Ekman transport of the shelf water over the denser slope water. The 2-dimensional model shows that upfront winds can indeed drive Ekman restratification and alleviate light limitation of phytoplankton growth at the shelf-break front.
  • Working Paper
    A modern coastal ocean observing system using data from advanced satellite and in situ sensors – an example
    (NSF/Ocean Research Coordination Network, 2015-06-01) Yoder, James A. ; Davis, Curtiss O. ; Dierssen, Heidi M. ; Muller-Karger, Frank E. ; Mahadevan, Amala ; Pearlman, Jay ; Sosik, Heidi M.
    This report is intended to illustrate and provide recommendations for how ocean observing systems of the next decade could focus on coastal environments using combined satellite and in situ measurements. Until recently, space-based observations have had surface footprints typically spanning hundreds of meters to kilometers. These provide excellent synoptic views for a wide variety of ocean characteristics. In situ observations are instead generally point or linear measurements. The interrelation between space-based and in-situ observations can be challenging. Both are necessary and as sensors and platforms evolve during the next decade, the trend to facilitate interfacing space and in-situ observations must continue and be expanded. In this report, we use coastal observation and analyses to illustrate an observing system concept that combines in situ and satellite observing technologies with numerical models to quantify subseasonal time scale transport of freshwater and its constituents from terrestrial water storage bodies across and along continental shelves, as well as the impacts on some key biological/biogeochemical properties of coastal waters.
  • Dataset
    Martha's Vineyard Coastal Observatory 2021
    (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2022-06-24) Cinquino, Eve ; Batchelder, Sidney ; Fredericks, Janet J. ; Sisson, John D. ; Faluotico, Stephen M. ; Popenoe, Hugh ; Sandwith, Zoe O. ; Crockford, E. Taylor ; Peacock, Emily E. ; Shalapyonok, Alexi ; Sosik, Heidi M. ; Kirincich, Anthony R. ; Edson, James B. ; Trowbridge, John H.
    Martha's Vineyard Coastal Observatory (MVCO) is a leading research and engineering facility operated by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. MVCO has been collecting ocean and atmospheric data at 3 sites on and near Martha's Vineyard since 2001. A meteorological mast (met mast) on South Beach in Edgartown, MA has collected atmospheric data since May 31 2001. An Air Sea Interaction Tower (ASIT) has been collecting atmospheric and subsurface oceanic data since August 5, 2004. A seafloor node (12m node) has been collecting oceanic data from the seafloor since June 14, 2001. This dataset encompasses the core data (wind speed and direction, air pressure, temperature and relative humidity, water temperature and salinity, and wave data) that has been collected during this period. To learn more about the facility and see additional data collected during short term deployments, visit the MVCO Website (
  • Article
    Rapid growth and concerted sexual transitions by a bloom of the harmful dinoflagellate Alexandrium fundyense (Dinophyceae)
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2015-09-18) Brosnahan, Michael L. ; Velo-Suarez, Lourdes ; Ralston, David K. ; Fox, Sophia E. ; Sehein, Taylor R. ; Shalapyonok, Alexi ; Sosik, Heidi M. ; Olson, Robert J. ; Anderson, Donald M.
    Transitions between life cycle stages by the harmful dinoflagellate Alexandrium fundyense are critical for the initiation and termination of its blooms. To quantify these transitions in a single population, an Imaging FlowCytobot (IFCB), was deployed in Salt Pond (Eastham, Massachusetts), a small, tidally flushed kettle pond that hosts near annual, localized A. fundyense blooms. Machine-based image classifiers differentiating A. fundyense life cycle stages were developed and results were compared to manually corrected IFCB samples, manual microscopy-based estimates of A. fundyense abundance, previously published data describing prevalence of the parasite Amoebophrya, and a continuous culture of A. fundyense infected with Amoebophrya. In Salt Pond, a development phase of sustained vegetative division lasted approximately 3 weeks and was followed by a rapid and near complete conversion to small, gamete cells. The gametic period (∼3 d) coincided with a spike in the frequency of fusing gametes (up to 5% of A. fundyense images) and was followed by a zygotic phase (∼4 d) during which cell sizes returned to their normal range but cell division and diel vertical migration ceased. Cell division during bloom development was strongly phased, enabling estimation of daily rates of division, which were more than twice those predicted from batch cultures grown at similar temperatures in replete medium. Data from the Salt Pond deployment provide the first continuous record of an A. fundyense population through its complete bloom cycle and demonstrate growth and sexual induction rates much higher than are typically observed in culture.
  • Article
    Machine learning techniques to characterize functional traits of plankton from image data
    (Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography, 2022-06-30) Orenstein, Eric C. ; Ayata, Sakina Dorothée ; Maps, Frédéric ; Becker, Érica C. ; Benedetti, Fabio ; Biard, Tristan ; de Garidel-Thoron, Thibault ; Ellen, Jeffrey S. ; Ferrario, Filippo ; Giering, Sarah L. C. ; Guy-Haim, Tamar ; Hoebeke, Laura ; Iversen, Morten H. ; Kiørboe, Thomas ; Lalonde, Jean-François ; Lana, Arancha ; Laviale, Martin ; Lombard, Fabien ; Lorimer, Tom ; Martini, Séverine ; Meyer, Albin ; Möller, Klas O. ; Niehoff, Barbara ; Ohman, Mark D. ; Pradalier, Cédric ; Romagnan, Jean-Baptiste ; Schröder, Simon-Martin ; Sonnet, Virginie ; Sosik, Heidi M. ; Stemmann, Lars ; Stock, Michiel ; Terbiyik-Kurt, Tuba ; Valcárcel-Pérez, Nerea ; Vilgrain, Laure ; Wacquet, Guillaume ; Waite, Anya M. ; Irisson, Jean-Olivier
    Plankton imaging systems supported by automated classification and analysis have improved ecologists' ability to observe aquatic ecosystems. Today, we are on the cusp of reliably tracking plankton populations with a suite of lab-based and in situ tools, collecting imaging data at unprecedentedly fine spatial and temporal scales. But these data have potential well beyond examining the abundances of different taxa; the individual images themselves contain a wealth of information on functional traits. Here, we outline traits that could be measured from image data, suggest machine learning and computer vision approaches to extract functional trait information from the images, and discuss promising avenues for novel studies. The approaches we discuss are data agnostic and are broadly applicable to imagery of other aquatic or terrestrial organisms.
  • Article
    Resonance control of acoustic focusing systems through an environmental reference table and impedance spectroscopy
    (Public Library of Science, 2018-11-14) Kalb, Daniel J. ; Olson, Robert J. ; Sosik, Heidi M. ; Woods, Travis A. ; Graves, Steven W.
    Acoustic standing waves can precisely focus flowing particles or cells into tightly positioned streams for interrogation or downstream separations. The efficiency of an acoustic standing wave device is dependent upon operating at a resonance frequency. Small changes in a system’s temperature and sample salinity can shift the device’s resonance condition, leading to poor focusing. Practical implementation of an acoustic standing wave system requires an automated resonance control system to adjust the standing wave frequency in response to environmental changes. Here we have developed a rigorous approach for quantifying the optimal acoustic focusing frequency at any given environmental condition. We have demonstrated our approach across a wide range of temperature and salinity conditions to provide a robust characterization of how the optimal acoustic focusing resonance frequency shifts across these conditions. To generalize these results, two microfluidic bulk acoustic standing wave systems (a steel capillary and an etched silicon wafer) were examined. Models of these temperature and salinity effects suggest that it is the speed of sound within the liquid sample that dominates the resonance frequency shift. Using these results, a simple reference table can be generated to predict the optimal resonance condition as a function of temperature and salinity. Additionally, we show that there is a local impedance minimum associated with the optimal system resonance. The integration of the environmental results for coarse frequency tuning followed by a local impedance characterization for fine frequency adjustments, yields a highly accurate method of resonance control. Such an approach works across a wide range of environmental conditions, is easy to automate, and could have a significant impact across a wide range of microfluidic acoustic standing wave systems.
  • Preprint
    Mesoscale variability in intact and ghost colonies of Phaeocystis antarctica in the Ross Sea : distribution and abundance
    ( 2016-05) Smith, Walker O. ; McGillicuddy, Dennis J. ; Olson, Elise M. B. ; Kosnyrev, Valery ; Peacock, Emily E. ; Sosik, Heidi M.
    Phaeocystis, a genus with a cosmopolitan distribution and a polymorphic life cycle, was observed during summer in the Ross Sea, Antarctica, where large blooms of this haptophyte regularly occur. The mesoscale vertical and horizontal distributions of colonies of P. antarctica were assessed using a towed Video Plankton Recorder (VPR). The mean size of colonies was 1.20 mm, and mean abundances within the three VPR surveys were 4.86, 1.96, and 11.5 mL-1. In addition to the typical spherical, transparent colonies, the VPR quantified an optically dissimilar form of colony that had a distinctive translucent appearance. It also measured the abundance of collapsed colonies, similar to those observed previously from cultures and mesocosms, which we called “ghost colonies”. The translucent colonial form had a different distribution than the more common colonial form, and at times was more abundant. Relative to intact colonies, the ghost colonies occurred less frequently, with mean abundances in the three surveys being 0.01, 0.08, and 0.0004 mL-1. Ghost colonies generally were found below the euphotic zone, where they often were in greater abundance than intact colonies. However, the relationship of ghost colonies to intact P. antarctica colonies was not direct or consistent, suggesting that the formation of ghost colonies from living colonies and their appearance within the water column were not tightly coupled. Given their relative scarcity and low carbon content, it is unlikely that ghost colonies contribute substantially to vertical flux; however, it is possible that we did not sample periods of major flux events, and as a result minimized the importance of ghost colonies to vertical flux. They do, however, represent a poorly documented feature of polar haptophyte life cycles.
  • Article
    Envisioning a marine biodiversity observation network
    (University of California Press, 2013-05) Duffy, J. Emmett ; Amaral-Zettler, Linda A. ; Fautin, Daphne G. ; Paulay, Gustav ; Rynearson, Tatiana A. ; Sosik, Heidi M. ; Stachowicz, John J.
    Humans depend on diverse ocean ecosystems for food, jobs, and sustained well-being, yet many stressors threaten marine life. Extensive research has demonstrated that maintaining biodiversity promotes ocean health and service provision; therefore, monitoring the status and trends of marine biodiversity is important for effective ecosystem management. However, there is no systematic sustained program for evaluating ocean biodiversity. Coordinating existing monitoring and building a proactive marine biodiversity observation network will support efficient, economical resource management and conservation and should be a high priority. A synthesis of expert opinions suggests that, to be most effective, a marine biodiversity observation network should integrate biological levels, from genes to habitats; link biodiversity observations to abiotic environmental variables; site projects to incorporate environmental forcing and biogeography; and monitor adaptively to address emerging issues. We summarize examples illustrating how to leverage existing data and infrastructure to meet these goals.
  • Article
    Seasons of Syn
    (Wiley, 2019-11-19) Hunter-Cevera, Kristen R. ; Neubert, Michael G. ; Olson, Robert J. ; Shalapyonok, Alexi ; Solow, Andrew R. ; Sosik, Heidi M.
    Synechococcus is a widespread and important marine primary producer. Time series provide critical information for identifying and understanding the factors that determine abundance patterns. Here, we present the results of analysis of a 16‐yr hourly time series of Synechococcus at the Martha's Vineyard Coastal Observatory, obtained with an automated, in situ flow cytometer. We focus on understanding seasonal abundance patterns by examining relationships between cell division rate, loss rate, cellular properties (e.g., cell volume, phycoerythrin fluorescence), and environmental variables (e.g., temperature, light). We find that the drivers of cell division vary with season; cells are temperature‐limited in winter and spring, but light‐limited in the fall. Losses to the population also vary with season. Our results lead to testable hypotheses about Synechococcus ecophysiology and a working framework for understanding the seasonal controls of Synechococcus cell abundance in a temperate coastal system.
  • Article
    Optical tools for ocean monitoring and research
    (Copernicus Publications on behalf of the European Geosciences Union, 2009-12-10) Moore, C. ; Barnard, Andrew H. ; Fietzek, P. ; Lewis, Marlon R. ; Sosik, Heidi M. ; White, Sheri N. ; Zielinski, Oliver
    Requirements for understanding the relationships between ocean color and suspended and dissolved materials within the water column, and a rapidly emerging photonics and materials technology base for performing optical based analytical techniques have generated a diverse offering of commercial sensors and research prototypes that perform optical measurements in water. Through inversion, these tools are now being used to determine a diverse set of related biogeochemical and physical parameters. Techniques engaged include measurement of the solar radiance distribution, absorption, scattering, stimulated fluorescence, flow cytometry, and various spectroscopy methods. Selective membranes and other techniques for material isolation further enhance specificity, leading to sensors for measurement of dissolved oxygen, methane, carbon dioxide, common nutrients and a variety of other parameters. Scientists are using these measurements to infer information related to an increasing set of parameters and wide range of applications over relevant scales in space and time.
  • Article
    The United States' next generation of atmospheric composition and coastal ecosystem measurements : NASA's Geostationary Coastal and Air Pollution Events (GEO-CAPE) Mission
    (American Meteorological Society, 2012-10) Fishman, J. ; Iraci, L. T. ; Al-Saadi, J. ; Chance, K. ; Chavez, Francisco P. ; Chin, M. ; Coble, Paula G. ; Davis, Curtiss O. ; DiGiacomo, P. M. ; Edwards, D. ; Eldering, A. ; Goes, Joachim I. ; Herman, J. ; Hu, Chuanmin ; Jacob, Daniel J. ; Jordan, C. ; Kawa, S. Randolph ; Key, R. ; Liu, X. ; Lohrenz, Steven E. ; Mannino, Antonio ; Natraj, V. ; Neil, D. ; Neu, J. ; Newchurch, M. J. ; Pickering, K. ; Salisbury, Joseph E. ; Sosik, Heidi M. ; Subramaniam, A. ; Tzortziou, Maria ; Wang, Jian ; Wang, M.
    The Geostationary Coastal and Air Pollution Events (GEO-CAPE) mission was recommended by the National Research Council's (NRC's) Earth Science Decadal Survey to measure tropospheric trace gases and aerosols and coastal ocean phytoplankton, water quality, and biogeochemistry from geostationary orbit, providing continuous observations within the field of view. To fulfill the mandate and address the challenge put forth by the NRC, two GEO-CAPE Science Working Groups (SWGs), representing the atmospheric composition and ocean color disciplines, have developed realistic science objectives using input drawn from several community workshops. The GEO-CAPE mission will take advantage of this revolutionary advance in temporal frequency for both of these disciplines. Multiple observations per day are required to explore the physical, chemical, and dynamical processes that determine tropospheric composition and air quality over spatial scales ranging from urban to continental, and over temporal scales ranging from diurnal to seasonal. Likewise, high-frequency satellite observations are critical to studying and quantifying biological, chemical, and physical processes within the coastal ocean. These observations are to be achieved from a vantage point near 95°–100°W, providing a complete view of North America as well as the adjacent oceans. The SWGs have also endorsed the concept of phased implementation using commercial satellites to reduce mission risk and cost. GEO-CAPE will join the global constellation of geostationary atmospheric chemistry and coastal ocean color sensors planned to be in orbit in the 2020 time frame.
  • Dataset
    2014 labeled IFCB images
    ( 2014) Sosik, Heidi M. ; Peacock, Emily E. ; Brownlee, Emily F.
  • Article
    Integrated observations and informatics improve understanding of changing marine ecosystems
    (Frontiers Media, 2018-11-16) Benson, Abigail ; Brooks, Cassandra M. ; Canonico, Gabrielle ; Duffy, J. Emmett ; Muller-Karger, Frank E. ; Sosik, Heidi M. ; Miloslavich, Patricia ; Klein, Eduardo
    Marine ecosystems have numerous benefits for human societies around the world and many policy initiatives now seek to maintain the health of these ecosystems. To enable wise decisions, up to date and accurate information on marine species and the state of the environment they live in is required. Moreover, this information needs to be openly accessible to build indicators and conduct timely assessments that decision makers can use. The questions and problems being addressed demand global-scale investigations, transdisciplinary science, and mechanisms to integrate and distribute data that otherwise would appear to be disparate. Essential Ocean Variables (EOVs) and marine Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs), conceptualized by the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) and the Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (MBON), respectively, guide observation of the ocean. Additionally, significant progress has been made to coordinate efforts between existing programs, such as the GOOS, MBON, and Ocean Biogeographic Information System collaboration agreement. Globally and nationally relevant indicators and assessments require increased sharing of data and analytical methods, sustained long-term and large-scale observations, and resources to dedicated to these tasks. We propose a vision and key tenets as a guiding framework for building a global integrated system for understanding marine biological diversity and processes to address policy and resource management needs. This framework includes: using EOVs and EBVs and implementing the guiding principles of Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable (FAIR) data and action ecology. In doing so, we can encourage relevant, rapid, and integrative scientific advancement that can be implemented by decision makers to maintain marine ecosystem health.
  • Dataset
    Martha’s Vineyard Coastal Observatory
    (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2021-10-15) Cinquino, Eve ; Batchelder, Sidney ; Fredericks, Janet J. ; Sisson, John D. ; Faluotico, Stephen M. ; Popenoe, Hugh ; Sandwith, Zoe O. ; Crockford, E. Taylor ; Peacock, Emily E. ; Shalapyonok, Alexi ; Sosik, Heidi M. ; Kirincich, Anthony R. ; Edson, James B. ; Trowbridge, John H.
    Martha's Vineyard Coastal Observatory (MVCO) is a leading research and engineering facility operated by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. MVCO has been collecting ocean and atmospheric data at 3 sites on and near Martha's Vineyard since 2001. A meteorological mast (met mast) on South Beach in Edgartown, MA has collected atmospheric data since May 31 2001. An Air Sea Interaction Tower (ASIT) has been collecting atmospheric and subsurface oceanic data since August 5, 2004. A seafloor node (12m node) has been collecting oceanic data from the seafloor since June 14, 2001. This dataset encompasses the core data (wind speed and direction, air pressure, temperature and relative humidity, water temperature and salinity, and wave data) that has been collected during this period. To learn more about the facility and see additional data collected during short term deployments, visit the MVCO Website (
  • Article
    An operational overview of the EXport Processes in the Ocean from RemoTe Sensing (EXPORTS) Northeast Pacific field deployment
    (University of California Press, 2021-07-07) Siegel, David A. ; Cetinić, Ivona ; Graff, Jason R. ; Lee, Craig M. ; Nelson, Norman B. ; Perry, Mary J. ; Soto Ramos, Inia ; Steinberg, Deborah K. ; Buesseler, Ken O. ; Hamme, Roberta C. ; Fassbender, Andrea ; Nicholson, David P. ; Omand, Melissa M. ; Robert, Marie ; Thompson, Andrew F. ; Amaral, Vinicius ; Behrenfeld, Michael J. ; Benitez-Nelson, Claudia R. ; Bisson, Kelsey ; Boss, Emmanuel S. ; Boyd, Philip ; Brzezinski, Mark A. ; Buck, Kristen N. ; Burd, Adrian B. ; Burns, Shannon ; Caprara, Salvatore ; Carlson, Craig A. ; Cassar, Nicolas ; Close, Hilary G. ; D'Asaro, Eric A. ; Durkin, Colleen A. ; Erickson, Zachary K. ; Estapa, Margaret L. ; Fields, Erik ; Fox, James ; Freeman, Scott ; Gifford, Scott M. ; Gong, Weida ; Gray, Deric ; Guidi, Lionel ; Haëntjens, Nils ; Halsey, Kim ; Huot, Yannick ; Hansell, Dennis A. ; Jenkins, Bethany D. ; Karp-Boss, Lee ; Kramer, Sasha J. ; Lam, Phoebe J. ; Lee, Jong-Mi ; Maas, Amy E. ; Marchal, Olivier ; Marchetti, Adrian ; McDonnell, Andrew M. P. ; McNair, Heather ; Menden-Deuer, Susanne ; Morison, Francoise ; Niebergall, Alexandria K. ; Passow, Uta ; Popp, Brian N. ; Potvin, Geneviève ; Resplandy, Laure ; Roca-Martí, Montserrat ; Roesler, Collin S. ; Rynearson, Tatiana A. ; Traylor, Shawnee ; Santoro, Alyson E. ; Seraphin, Kanesa ; Sosik, Heidi M. ; Stamieszkin, Karen ; Stephens, Brandon M. ; Tang, Weiyi ; Van Mooy, Benjamin ; Xiong, Yuanheng ; Zhang, Xiaodong
    The goal of the EXport Processes in the Ocean from RemoTe Sensing (EXPORTS) field campaign is to develop a predictive understanding of the export, fate, and carbon cycle impacts of global ocean net primary production. To accomplish this goal, observations of export flux pathways, plankton community composition, food web processes, and optical, physical, and biogeochemical (BGC) properties are needed over a range of ecosystem states. Here we introduce the first EXPORTS field deployment to Ocean Station Papa in the Northeast Pacific Ocean during summer of 2018, providing context for other papers in this special collection. The experiment was conducted with two ships: a Process Ship, focused on ecological rates, BGC fluxes, temporal changes in food web, and BGC and optical properties, that followed an instrumented Lagrangian float; and a Survey Ship that sampled BGC and optical properties in spatial patterns around the Process Ship. An array of autonomous underwater assets provided measurements over a range of spatial and temporal scales, and partnering programs and remote sensing observations provided additional observational context. The oceanographic setting was typical of late-summer conditions at Ocean Station Papa: a shallow mixed layer, strong vertical and weak horizontal gradients in hydrographic properties, sluggish sub-inertial currents, elevated macronutrient concentrations and low phytoplankton abundances. Although nutrient concentrations were consistent with previous observations, mixed layer chlorophyll was lower than typically observed, resulting in a deeper euphotic zone. Analyses of surface layer temperature and salinity found three distinct surface water types, allowing for diagnosis of whether observed changes were spatial or temporal. The 2018 EXPORTS field deployment is among the most comprehensive biological pump studies ever conducted. A second deployment to the North Atlantic Ocean occurred in spring 2021, which will be followed by focused work on data synthesis and modeling using the entire EXPORTS data set.
  • Article
    A regional, early spring bloom of Phaeocystis pouchetii on the New England continental shelf
    (American Geophysical Union, 2021-01-15) Smith, Walker O. ; Zhang, Weifeng G. ; Hirzel, Andrew ; Stanley, Rachel M. ; Meyer, Meredith G. ; Sosik, Heidi M. ; Alatalo, Philip ; Oliver, Hilde ; Sandwith, Zoe O. ; Crockford, E. Taylor ; Peacock, Emily E. ; Mehta, Arshia ; McGillicuddy, Dennis J.
    The genus Phaeocystis is distributed globally and has considerable ecological, biogeochemical, and societal impacts. Understanding its distribution, growth and ecological impacts has been limited by lack of extensive observations on appropriate scales. In 2018, we investigated the biological dynamics of the New England continental shelf and encountered a substantial bloom of Phaeocystis pouchetii. Based on satellite imagery during January through April, the bloom extended over broad expanses of the shelf; furthermore, our observations demonstrated that it reached high biomass levels, with maximum chlorophyll concentrations exceeding 16 µg L−1 and particulate organic carbon levels > 95 µmol L−1. Initially, the bloom was largely confined to waters with temperatures <6°C, which in turn were mostly restricted to shallow areas near the coast. As the bloom progressed, it appeared to sink into the bottom boundary layer; however, enough light and nutrients were available for growth. The bloom was highly productive (net community production integrated through the mixed layer from stations within the bloom averaged 1.16 g C m−2 d−1) and reduced nutrient concentrations considerably. Long‐term coastal observations suggest that Phaeocystis blooms occur sporadically in spring on Nantucket Shoals and presumably expand onto the continental shelf. Based on the distribution of Phaeocystis during our study, we suggest that it can have a significant impact on the overall productivity and ecology of the New England shelf during the winter/spring transition.
  • Article
    Global satellite water classification data products over oceanic, coastal, and inland waters
    (Elsevier, 2022-09-24) Wei, Jianwei ; Wang, Menghua ; Mikelsons, Karlis ; Jiang, Lide ; Kratzer, Susanne ; Lee, Zhongping ; Moore, Tim ; Sosik, Heidi M. ; Van der Zande, Dimitry
    Satellites have generated extensive data of remote sensing reflectance spectra (Rrs(λ)) covering diverse water classes or types across global waters. Spectral classification of satellite Rrs(λ) data allows for the distinguishing and grouping of waters with characteristic bio-optical/biogeochemical features that may influence the productivity of a given water body. This study reports new satellite water class products (Level-2 and Level-3) from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS). We developed and implemented a hyperspectral scheme that accounts for the Rrs(λ) spectral shapes and globally resolves oceanic, coastal, and inland waters into 23 water classes. We characterized the light absorption and scattering coefficients, chlorophyll-a concentration, diffuse attenuation coefficient, and suspended particulate matter for individual water classes. It is shown that the water classes are separable by their distinct bio-optical and biogeochemical properties. Furthermore, validation result suggests that the VIIRS water class products are accurate globally. Finally, we examined the spatial and temporal variability of the water classes in case studies for a demonstration of applications. The water class data in open oceans reveal that the subtropical ocean gyres have experienced dramatic expansion over the last decade. In addition, the water class data appear to be a valuable (and qualitative) indicator for water quality in coastal and inland waters with compelling evidence. We stress that this new satellite product is an excellent addition to the aquatic science database, despite the need for continuous improvement toward perfection.•First mission-long satellite water class products are created from VIIRS satellite.•A reflectance shape-based algorithm was used to resolve the global water classes.•The water classes feature distinct bio-optical and biogeochemical qualities.•Matchup analysis shows the water class products are reliable globally.•Great potentials are shown for aquatic ecology and water quality applications.
  • Dataset
    Bottle sample data from CTD casts from the third cruise of SPIROPA project, R/V Thomas G. Thompson cruise TN368, to the New England Shelfbreak in July of 2019
    (Biological and Chemical Oceanography Data Management Office (BCO-DMO). Contact:, 2022-08-11) McGillicuddy, Dennis J. ; Sosik, Heidi M. ; Zhang, Weifeng Gordon ; Smith, Walker O. ; Stanley, Rachel ; Turner, Jefferson ; Petitpas, Christian
    Bottle sample data from CTD casts from the third cruise of SPIROPA project, R/V Thomas G. Thompson cruise TN368, to the New England Shelfbreak in July of 2019. For a complete list of measurements, refer to the full dataset description in the supplemental file 'Dataset_description.pdf'. The most current version of this dataset is available at:
  • Article
    Diatom hotspots driven by western boundary current instability
    (American Geophysical Union, 2021-05-11) Oliver, Hilde ; Zhang, Weifeng G. ; Smith, Walker O. ; Alatalo, Philip ; Chappell, Phoebe Dreux ; Hirzel, Andrew ; Selden, Corday ; Sosik, Heidi M. ; Stanley, Rachel H. R. ; Zhu, Yifan ; McGillicuddy, Dennis J.
    Climatic changes have decreased the stability of the Gulf Stream (GS), increasing the frequency at which its meanders interact with the Mid-Atlantic Bight (MAB) continental shelf and slope region. These intrusions are thought to suppress biological productivity by transporting low-nutrient water to the otherwise productive shelf edge region. Here we present evidence of widespread, anomalously intense subsurface diatom hotspots in the MAB slope sea that likely resulted from a GS intrusion in July 2019. The hotspots (at ∼50 m) were associated with water mass properties characteristic of GS water (∼100 m); it is probable that the hotspots resulted from the upwelling of GS water during its transport into the slope sea, likely by a GS meander directly intruding onto the continental slope east of where the hotspots were observed. Further work is required to unravel how increasingly frequent direct GS intrusions could influence MAB marine ecosystems.