Warm Core Ring Project 17 Sept. - 7 Oct., 1981

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Langton, Elizabeth W.
Phinney, David A.
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Northwest Atlantic
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Water masses
Ocean circulation
Marine biology
Chemical oceanography
Atlantis II (Ship : 1963-) Cruise AII110
Warm Core Rings
During the first cruise of the Warm Core Rings project aboard R/V Atlantis II, our efforts were primarily concerned with measuring the bio-optical properties of ring 81-D and the surrounding Slope Water in support of remote sensing. The interdisciplinary nature of the program also presented an appealing opportunity to focus our studies within the framework of so many diverse research interests. Phytoplankton are the foundation of the .biological system in the oceans due to their ability to photosynthesize, to use light to produce organic material. The passive connotation of the term "plankton": the drifters, hardly applies to studies of light in the oceans as plankton both affect, and are affected by, light. They are a major factor in determining the color of the sea and there is great interest in ocean color remotely sensed from aircraft or satellites. Groups of phytoplankton containing different light harvesting pigments are associated with various water masses, hence, warm core rings present ideal situations where sharp contrasts in water masses, phytoplankton, and ocean color can be encountered. Through our observations of the horizontal and vertical distribution of phytoplankton and their pigments concurrent with observations of the submarine light field, we attempt to further our understanding of the relationship between light and photosynthetic organisms in the sea and our ability to remotely sense them.
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