Ship of Opportunity (SOOP) Transect Surveys have been conducted monthly with
the Hardy Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) across the Gulf of Maine since
1961, and from New York towards Bermuda since 1971. This unique towed body
samples zooplankton and larger phytoplankton organisms at a depth of 10
meters. The resulting time series rank among the longest for the northwest
Atlantic. Links to the plankton data are posted here.
Expendable bathythermographs (XBT's) and surface salinity
measurements were added in 1977 and are operated in cooperation with
Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML).
Inter-institution agreements since the
early 1990s have resulted in the acquisition and installation of an Acoustic
Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) and flow-through thermosalinograph.
Route MC extends from the Massachusetts/New Hampshire coast to Cape Sable,
Nova Scotia, a distance of approximately 450 km, crossing Massachusetts Bay,
Wilkinson Basin, the central Gulf of Maine ledges, Crowell Basin, and the
western Scotian Shelf. Sampling along this route began in 1961.
Route MB extends from Ambrose Light off New York City toward Bermuda for a
distance of approximately 450 km crossing the continental shelf, passing
through shelf water, and usually extending in Gulf Stream water. Sampling
along this route began in 1972.
Cruises on the MB route last one week and are aboard a merchant vessel.
Anyone wishing to volunteer should contact Jon.Hare@noaa.gov.
Water Column Temperature to a maximum depth of 750 m is measured at 19-63 km
intervals via expendable bathythermograph (XBT).
Near-surface temperature and salinity measurements are made and recorded
digitally while the vessels are underway utilizing a
thermosalinograph. AOML provides equipment, software and computers in
support of the TSG and XBT data collection as part of a much larger global
observation program (AOML GOOS
Center). AOML also provides logistical
assistance for the SOOP program.
See "Monthly Ecosystem Indices" page for products
derived from this project.