Cruise Report C-131 : Scientific activities aboard the SSV Corwith Cramer, Miami, FL - Rum Cay - Port Antonio - Roatan - Key West, February 8 to March 19, 1994
Bohrer, Richard N.
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This cruise report summarizes the scientific activities aboard SSV Corwith Cramer during the Sea Education Association SEA Semester cruise C-131. The scientific program was designed to provide practical experience for college students in all fields of marine science. The students participated in all ship operations and presented results from a project of their own design. Twenty-five students from twenty-three colleges participated, joining a crew of six nautical staff and four scientific staff. In addition, we were joined by two visitors on specific legs of the cruise. The cruise track, Miami - Rum Cay - Port Antonio - Roatan - Key West, was chosen to provide a comparison of the southern Sargasso Sea to the Caribbean Sea. The Sargasso Sea is a subtropical, convergent ecosystem and therefore has a lower productivity than the tropical, divergent ecosystem existing in the Caribbean Sea. Many of our investigations were designed to study these differences. Among these were the distributions of surface and subsurface water masses (such as Subtropical Underwater and Antarctic Intermediate water), geostrophic transport of the Antilles and Caribbean Currents, compositions of carbonate sediments, biogeography of eel larvae, lobster larvae, Trichodesmium, and myctophids, and distributions of pelagic plastic and tar. We also made a working visit to Rum Cay where we studied the coral reefs, the lagoon circulation, and intertidal molluscs. We also made a transect across the Explorer Seamount to investigate the effects of the topography on the flow field and ecology. In all, we completed 94 surface stations, 33 CTD (conductivity-temperature-depth) profiles, 20 Niskin bottle casts, 10 meter net tows, 33 neuston net tows, 4 Shipek grab samples, and 7 rock dredge samples. All of these data formed the basis for the student projects. The oceanographic program also included lectures on various subjects of either general or regional interest. Some selected results are presented in Part II. Station lists and some of the physical, chemical, and biological data are presented in Part III. Additional data are available through the Sea Education Association.
Miami - Rum Cay - Port Antonio - Roatan - Key West February 8 to March 19, 1994