Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill & Ecosystem Science Conference, Mobile, Alabama, January 26-29, 2014
The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill was not only unique for its material volume but also for its depth, ~1500 m, necessitating a wholewater- column approach for assessment. Given the absence of data regarding the pelagic fauna at these depths, a large-scale program was developed that included at-sea sampling/sensing, sample analysis, and database management. A four-cruise survey aboard the NOAA ship Pisces was conducted to provide data on the pelagic nekton from the surface to 1600 m, with emphasis between 800-1400 m (subsurface plume depth). Multi-frequency acoustic data were collected simultaneously to further characterize the horizontal and vertical distribution of pelagic biomass. Additionally, a 107-station survey grid was sampled over nine months on the R/V Meg Skansi using discrete-depth trawl gear paired with multi-frequency acoustics. Given the wide geographic (LA to FL, 29-27N), temporal (4 seasons), and depth (0-1600 m) ranges encompassed in the program, this is putatively the largest deep-pelagic sample set ever collected. Biological sample with coupled acoustic data analysis is currently ongoing, with initial results reflect the speciose character of the Gulf of Mexico oceanic province.
Sutton, Tracey and Boswell, K. M., "The NOAA NRDA Gulf of Mexico Offshore Fish and Nekton Program: Rationale, Design and Sampling/Sensing Synopsis" (2014). Marine & Environmental Sciences Faculty Proceedings, Presentations, Speeches, Lectures. 242.