Major Components of the Georges Bank Study

The Georges Bank Study has four major components:

  1. Broad-scale field study of the distribution and abundance of the target organisms and their physical envirnonment;

  2. Distinct, but well integrated field studies of smaller-scale processes known or thought to be important in regulating the occurrence and abundance of target species;

  3. Modeling studies designed to assist in the formulation and interpretion of the field studies, as well as to provide the context for integration of the results;

  4. A methodology and instrumentation development program required to enable fundamental portions of the Georges Bank Study to be achieved and to add to our ability to conduct such studies elsewhere in the ocean.
The blending of these components into an integrated program will require cooperative research efforts involving biological and physical oceanographers, and strong multidisciplinary leadership, both within the scientific community and between scientists carrying out the work and scientists at the Joint NOAA/NSF U.S. GLOBEC office.

The plan to implement the Georges Bank Study is focussed on five specific program objectives.

Program Objectives.

  1. Quantify abundance of target species in time and space on Georges Bank over the winter/spring period using spatially and temporally nested sampling to cover a broad range of time and space scales. [Components 1, 2, and 4].

  2. Measure vital rates of target species relating to population dynamics (i.e., Figure 3; feeding, swimming, respiration, egestion, growth, fecundity, predation, starvation). [Components 2 and 4].

  3. Quantify the seasonal stratification of the water column, and those physical processes which strongly influence its variability, in relation to (a) the vertical distribution and (b) vital rates of the target species, and in relation to control of nutrient and phytoplankton dynamics and the translation of these effects on zooplankton population dynamics [Components 1, 2, and 3].

  4. Quantify rates of physical exchanges of water and biota across the boundary of the Bank due to cross-frontal flows, residual mean flow, and episodic wind and ring events. Determine how these exchange processes are affected by vertical migration behavior, vertical current shear, and the bottom boundary as a refuge. [Components 1, 2, 3, and 4].

  5. Determine how microscale turbulence interacts with micro-patchiness to affect predator-prey interactions and vital rates. [Components 2, 3, and 4].