Innovative Environmental Sampling During the Summer of 2010 in the Western Gulf of Mexico
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The recent Gulf of Mexico (GOM) oil tragedy is emphasizing the importance of collecting sound, real-time ocean observations through collaborations of academia, government, and industry. Ocean observing systems (OOS) provide continuous data for various environmental, oceanographic, and atmospheric parameters. Many systems, such as moorings and buoys, are in fixed locations providing excellent time series, but are limited in spatial coverage. To improve spatial and temporal resolution, a Sea Sciences Inc. Inc. Acrobat system was deployed in summer 2010 to aide in the cross-shelf sampling of the western GOM coastal waters as part of a multiyear National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to understand mechanisms controlling GOM hypoxia. Two weeklong surveys were conducted in the northern GOM, in which the Acrobat was deployed to determine the spatial and temporal extents of the Louisiana dead zone and the areal extent of the Texas hypoxic region. The data from this state-of-the-art cabled instrument combined with a real-time mooring, Galveston Instrument Garden for Environmental Monitoring (GIGEM OOS), deployed since 2009 provides valuable insight into the spatial and temporal scales of hypoxia on the Texas shelf, as well as emphasizes the need to developing management policies and future plans for surveying the northern GOM to accurately monitor processes responsible for hypoxia and to provide immediate data in the event of an unexpected environmental hazard.
author list (cited authors)
Mullins, R. L., DiMarco, S. F., & Guinasso, N.