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Oceans and Climate Branch: Shelf-wide Water Properties

The Oceanography Branch maintains and provides Conductivity/Temperature/Depth (CTD) instruments to all Center cruises for measuring water column profiles of temperature and salinity. Generally, over 1000 profiles are collected each year on the northeast continental shelf from Cape Hatteras to the Gulf of Maine. Profiles are collected at every station on the Center's winter, spring and fall bottom trawl surveys and at every station on the Center's plankton monitoring surveys.

An annual summary of the observations is issued each year (see link below). The summaries include figures showing the surface and bottom distributions of temperature and salinity for each cruise, and the anomalies of these variables relative to a consistent reference. The summaries also include regional average values of temperature and salinity and the anomalies of both variables. These data have supported numerous analyses of the seasonal and interannual variability in the waters properties on the northeast continental shelf over the last 25+ years.

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