Satellite Surveys (1994-1998)

Satellite data (e.g., infrared, color, altimetry, scatterometer, SAR) should be available throughout the duration of the study. These data can contribute to the analysis and understanding of many of the broad-scale and smaller-scale process oriented investigations in the overall program. They can directly assist the sampling during cruises by real time identification of major oceanographic features (e.g., fronts, rings) and changes in their location.

Questions: The satellite data collection and analysis component should address the following questions:

  1. What is the temporal and spatial variability of the surface temperature and chlorophyll distributions in comparison with pigment related bio-optical measurements and direct primary production time-series measurements made throughout the water column during the study period?

  2. What is the temporal and spatial variability of the tidal mixing front and the shelf/Slope Water front?

  3. What is the temporal and spatial variability of the surface wave field over the Bank?

  4. When, where and under what oceanographic/atmospheric conditions do episodic exchanges of water occur from the Bank across the shelf/Slope Water front, and are they associated with greater mortality of the target species?

  5. When and how often do rings interact with the Bank?
Strategy: Satellite data should be acquired, analyzed, and transmitted to research vessels and program investigators (including modellers) participating in the program in near real-time. Communication of imagery from shore to the ships is an important part of this strategy. Post-cruise analyses of the imagery should include quantitative comparisons with the shipboard, moored, and Lagrangian observations, determinantion of the major frontal features and their behavior in time and space, resolution of the well-mixed and the stratified regions of the Bank in time and space, and time-series analysis of the surface plant pigment and phytoplankton activity fields. Satellite-based measurements will provide a detailed spatial resolution of the surface field to complement time-series measurements obtained at moorings. Satellite wave data should be ground truthed with observations from moorings. Some satellite data are dependent on the absence of cloud cover. A clear image of the Bank region generally can be obtained on a time scale of every 2-5 days during spring and summer. This frequency is sufficient for valuable guidance during sampling operations and for meaningful post-cruise analyes.