ISRN Oceanography The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2014 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Shifts of Bacterioplankton Metabolic Profiles along the Salinity Gradient in a Subtropical Estuary Thu, 12 Dec 2013 11:06:58 +0000 Understanding the biodegradation potential of river bacterioplankton communities is crucial for watershed management. We investigated the shifts in bacterioplankton metabolic profiles along the salinity gradient of the Caloosahatchee River Estuary, Florida. The carbon source utilization patterns of river bacterioplankton communities were determined by using Biolog EcoPlates. The number of utilized substrates was generally high in the upstream freshwater dominated zone and low in the downstream zone, suggesting a shift in metabolic profiles among bacterioplankton assemblages along the estuarine gradient. The prokaryotic cell numbers also decreased along the estuarine salinity gradient. Seasonal and site-specific differences were found in the numbers of utilized substrates, which were similar in summer and fall (wet season) and winter and spring (dry season). Bacterioplankton assemblages in summer and fall showed more versatile substrate utilization patterns than those of winter and spring communities. Therefore, our data suggest that microbial metabolic patterns in the subtropical estuary are likely influenced by the water discharge patterns created by dry and wet seasons along the salinity gradient. Hidetoshi Urakawa, Jaffar Ali, Rheannon D. J. Ketover, Spencer D. Talmage, Juan C. Garcia, Ian S. Campbell, Ai Ning Loh, and Michael L. Parsons Copyright © 2013 Hidetoshi Urakawa et al. All rights reserved. An Investigation of the Southern Ocean Surface Temperature Variability Using Long-Term Optimum Interpolation SST Data Mon, 12 Aug 2013 19:05:03 +0000 An attempt is made to understand the long-term variability of SST using NOAA optimum interpolation SST data for the period (1982–2011) in the Southern Ocean. This dataset has been used (i) to study the interannual variability in SST anomaly and (ii) to carry out regression analysis to compute linear trend in the annual averaged Southern Ocean SST. It is observed that summer season exhibits more variability than winter. Moreover, El Nino/La Nina events apparently play a critical role in the variability of Southern Ocean SST. Thus, higher SST anomalies were observed in El Nino years (e.g., 1983), while cooler anomalies were seen during La Nina years (e.g., 1985). In addition, the eastern and western sides of Antarctica experience episodes of warm and cold SST. Western parts of the Southern Ocean experienced higher anomalies during 1992, 1993, and 1994, while the eastern part experienced positive anomalies in 1997, 1998, 2002, and 2003. The paper also highlights the different regions of the Southern Ocean showing statistically significant positive/negative trends in the variability of interannual average SST. However, in general, the Southern Ocean as a whole is showing a weak interannual cooling trend in SST. Megha Maheshwari, Rajkumar Kamaljit Singh, Sandip Rashmikant Oza, and Raj Kumar Copyright © 2013 Megha Maheshwari et al. All rights reserved. Planktonic Foraminifera as Oceanographic Proxies: Comparison of Biogeographic Classifications Using Some Southwest Pacific Core-Top Faunas Thu, 01 Aug 2013 15:11:16 +0000 The distribution of planktonic foraminifera, as free-floating protists, is largely controlled by hydrography. Their death assemblages in surficial sediments provide proxy data on upper water mass properties for paleoceanography. Techniques for mapping faunal distributions for this purpose are compared in a study of 35 core-top samples that span the Subtropical Front in the Southwest Pacific. Faunas are analyzed by taxon composition, order of dominant taxa, and abundance. Taxon composition (presence-absence data) and dominant taxa (ordinal data) recognize groups of sites that approximate major water mass distributions (cool subtropical water, subantarctic water) and clearly define the location of the Subtropical Front. Quantitative data (relative abundances) more closely reflect the success of taxa in upper water mass niches. This information resolves groups of sites that reflect differences in intrawater mass hydrography. Comparisons suggest that abundance data should provide much better oceanographic resolution globally than the widely used ordinal biogeographic classification that identifies only Tropical, Subtropical Transitional, Subpolar and Polar provinces. As the data are strongly structured by variance in the abundance of Globigerina bulloides, Globorotalia inflata, Neogloboquadrina incompta, and Neogloboquadrina pachyderma, comparable classifications result from most clustering strategies. Principal coordinates analysis best represents the configuration of sites in two dimensions. G. H. Scott Copyright © 2013 G. H. Scott. All rights reserved. A Numerical Technique to Estimate Water Depths from Remotely Sensed Water Wave Characteristics Sun, 23 Jun 2013 15:39:09 +0000 This paper describes a numerical technique to estimate water depths from remotely sensed water wave characteristics. Two depth inversion models have been developed based on both linear and nonlinear dispersion relations. A simplified technique to get wave height distribution from remotely sensed water surface elevations is presented. Synthetic input data are generated using a refraction-diffraction numerical model. In intermediate water depths, there is good agreement between actual and estimated depths (relative errors are of order 10%). It is shown that depth inversion using linear dispersion relation overestimates water depth near shoreline. The nonlinear model is seen to improve the inverted depth by 10% and could retrieve two-dimensional depth profile. K. M. Fassieh Copyright © 2013 K. M. Fassieh. All rights reserved. Lipids in Marine Ecosystems Mon, 22 Apr 2013 14:10:24 +0000 Lipids provide the densest form of energy in marine ecosystems. They are also a solvent and absorption carrier for organic contaminants and thus can be drivers of pollutant bioaccumulation. Among the lipids, certain essential fatty acids and sterols are considered to be important determinants of ecosystem health and stability. Fatty acids and sterols are also susceptible to oxidative damage leading to cytotoxicity and a decrease in membrane fluidity. The physical characteristics of biological membranes can be defended from the influence of changing temperature, pressure, or lipid peroxidation by altering the fatty acid and sterol composition of the lipid bilayer. Marine lipids are also a valuable tool to measure inputs, cycling, and loss of materials. Their heterogeneous nature makes them versatile biomarkers that are widely used in marine trophic studies, often with the help of multivariate statistics, to delineate carbon cycling and transfer of materials. Principal components analysis has a strong following as it permits data reduction and an objective interpretation of results, but several more sophisticated multivariate analyses which are more quantitative are emerging too. Integrating stable isotope and lipid data can facilitate the interpretation of both data sets and can provide a quantitative estimate of transfer across trophic levels. Christopher C. Parrish Copyright © 2013 Christopher C. Parrish. All rights reserved. Marine Benthic Algae of the Commander Islands (Pacific Coast of Russia) with Checklist Revised in 2012 Sun, 31 Mar 2013 08:41:04 +0000 A revised checklist of marine benthic algae of the Commander Islands (Russian Pacific) is presented. It is based on the authors’ field collections. The list of algae of the area totals to 187 species (36 Chlorophyta, 38 Ochrophyta, class Phaeophyceae, and 113 Rhodophyta) of these 44 species (9 Chlorophyta, 8 Ochrophyta, class Phaeophyceae, and 27 Rhodophyta) are added to the previous checklists (Selivanova and Zhigadlova, 1997). We also confirm the presence of 5 species on the Islands that were absent in our earlier material but were recorded by other authors (Phycodrys amchitkensis, Mastocarpus papillatus, Lithothamnion sonderi, Odonthalia dentata, and Pleonosporium vancouverianum). The species list of the newly recorded algae contains information on their ecology, fertility, and distribution. The algal taxonomy and nomenclature are updated with new world data. Olga N. Selivanova and Galina G. Zhigadlova Copyright © 2012 Olga N. Selivanova and Galina G. Zhigadlova. All rights reserved. Sensitivity of Sea Surface Temperature Simulation by an Ocean Model to the Resolution of the Meteorological Forcing Sun, 10 Mar 2013 08:51:37 +0000 The effect on sea surface temperature (SST) predictions caused by varying atmospheric forcing within an ocean model is examined in the Celtic Sea, a typical shelf sea situated to the southwest of the British Isles. We use the 3D ocean circulation model POLCOMS, with 2 km resolution, 30 vertical layers, and two sets of meteorological forcing, at low (1.6°) and high (0.11°) horizontal resolutions. The model is validated against in situ and satellite observations. Comparisons made for the year 2008 show that increasing the resolution of the meteorological forcing does not necessarily lead to more accurate results in the modelled SST. The discrepancy between the low and high resolution cases was found to be the greatest in the summer, with the errors of the mean SST being 0.15°C and 1.15°C, respectively. Overall, the most accurate reproduction of SST throughout the year is obtained using the low resolution atmospheric data. We show that this is due not to the resolution of the forcing per se, but to the differences between the meteorological models in mean values of parameters such as cloud cover, which in turn reduce the solar radiation flux reaching the sea surface in the oceanographic model. F. Chen, G. Shapiro, and R. Thain Copyright © 2013 F. Chen et al. All rights reserved. Regional Analysis on Decadal Variation in Aspects of Water Quality in Three Contrasting Coastal Systems of Ishikawa Coast, Japan Wed, 27 Feb 2013 17:39:07 +0000 This study examines drivers and trends of change in time and space in some coastal water quality parameters and management/cultural practices on the Ishikawa coast, Japan, between 1984 and 2009. Generally, chemical oxygen demand (COD) and dissolved oxygen (DO) concentrations varied significantly () across the three coastal compartments (Kanazawa area (KNA), Noto area (NTA), and Nanao area (NNA)), and pH and DO concentrations varied significantly () over the last three decades, suggesting that human perturbation within the last three decades varied along the coast and may be more relative than environmental change impact. Other water quality variables showed different spatial and temporal patterns and implications across the coastal compartments. Although there is a uniform approach to the development of water quality standards in Japan, these results suggest that setting stricter standards may be required by the prefectural government in collaboration with industry, stakeholders groups, and coastal community resource users. J. I. Agboola and A. E. McDonald Copyright © 2013 J. I. Agboola and A. E. McDonald. All rights reserved. The Theory and Observational Evidence for Streamlets: A New Velocity-Based Feature Model of Jet Streams and Eddies in the Oceans Mon, 18 Feb 2013 09:09:12 +0000 The aim of this study is the verification of a new velocity-based feature model, called streamlets, proposed recently for objective analysis of the three-dimensional velocity structure of jet streams and eddies in the oceans. Streamlets are continuously imbedded shearing vortex solenoids having two forms: cylindrical (for jets) or toroidal (for eddies, considered as self-closed jets). Both these forms comprise stream coordinates based on streamlines of maximum velocity as an axis and vertical velocity cross-sections defined as an oblique cone with elliptical base. Assimilation of velocity measurements is accomplished by fitting this cone to available data using the well-known Nelder-Mead simplex downhill algorithm for finding the minimum of nonlinear parametric functions. Advantages of the streamlet model are discussed emphasizing its functional integrity. The focus is on velocity data assimilation based on coherency of synoptic scale features as opposed to usual pointwise assimilation methods such as averaging or optimal interpolation. Case studies present synoptic features of a different origin and scale including surface-intensified and subsurface baroclinic examples as well as deep barotropic ones demonstrating universality of the model. The theory of streamlets is also addressed in this paper, since it further sustain the streamlet model. Alexander V. Kazansky and Antonina A. Shupikova Copyright © 2013 Alexander V. Kazansky and Antonina A. Shupikova. All rights reserved. Coral Reef Resilience through Biodiversity Sun, 17 Feb 2013 08:05:16 +0000 Irrefutable evidence of coral reef degradation worldwide and increasing pressure from rising seawater temperatures and ocean acidification associated with climate change have led to a focus on reef resilience and a call to “manage” coral reefs for resilience. Ideally, global action to reduce emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases will be accompanied by local action. Effective management requires reduction of local stressors, identification of the characteristics of resilient reefs, and design of marine protected area networks that include potentially resilient reefs. Future research is needed on how stressors interact, on how climate change will affect corals, fish, and other reef organisms as well as overall biodiversity, and on basic ecological processes such as connectivity. Not all reef species and reefs will respond similarly to local and global stressors. Because reef-building corals and other organisms have some potential to adapt to environmental changes, coral reefs will likely persist in spite of the unprecedented combination of stressors currently affecting them. The biodiversity of coral reefs is the basis for their remarkable beauty and for the benefits they provide to society. The extraordinary complexity of these ecosystems makes it both more difficult to predict their future and more likely they will have a future. Caroline S. Rogers Copyright © 2013 Caroline S. Rogers. All rights reserved. Spatial Heterogeneity of Artificial Reefs Functioning according to Wind-Induced Lagrangian Circulation Tue, 12 Feb 2013 08:21:16 +0000 In the scope of the program “Récifs Prado” for artificial reef immersion in the bay of Marseilles (southern France), we adapted the fine resolution (100 m) of the 3D numerical model POM (Princeton Ocean Model) to compute the typical patterns of the wind induced circulation within the bay. In addition, we derived from those results the Lagrangian trajectories of planktonic particles drifting over periods of 3 days, both from natural habitats to colonize the reefs, and inversely from the reefs to enrich peripheral ecosystems. Results emphasized the high spatial heterogeneity of the reefs functioning at short scales. First, reefs were submitted to a general southward particle flux, being colonized from the northern bay and then impacting the southern bay 50% and 40% of the time, respectively. Second, adjacent reefs frequently showed contrasted impacts, with fluxes simultaneously oriented offshore or inshore, in opposite directions. Third, at the top of reefs particles were released both southward and northward 32% and 8.6% of the time, respectively; when at the bottom of reefs particles were only released southward 40% of the time. Marie-Aude Pradal and Bertrand Millet Copyright © 2013 Marie-Aude Pradal and Bertrand Millet. All rights reserved. Water Circulation, Sediment Transport, and Pollutant Dynamics in Southern Iberia Waters: A Review on Numerical Modelling Studies Wed, 16 Jan 2013 15:32:52 +0000 Southern Iberian Peninsula coastal waters have a high ecologic and economic value. The objective of this work has consisted of describing numerical models which simulate the dispersion of particle-reactive tracers in these waters and reproducing measured concentration levels in water and bed sediment samples. Additionally, information on suspended matter concentration distributions and sedimentation rates is obtained. In the Alboran Sea, the model has been applied to simulate the transport of radionuclides introduced from atmospheric fallout. Transport pathways of heavy metals discharged from three rivers draining a large mining area have been obtained for the Gulf of Cadiz. It has been found that these rivers constitute a source of trace elements to the Mediterranean through the Strait of Gibraltar. Some characteristic times have been calculated, as well as fluxes of isotopes through the Strait of Gibraltar, as additional results of environmental interest. R. Periáñez Copyright © 2013 R. Periáñez. All rights reserved. Nomoto Indices for Constant-Depth Zigzag Manoeuvres of an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Wed, 19 Dec 2012 14:53:35 +0000 A two-dimensional simulation code is used to study the characteristics of constant-depth zigzag manoeuvres of the axisymmetric autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) MUN Explorer. Sea trials data for several manoeuvres with the AUV have been reported during the past four years; however, to obtain a more complete understanding of the vehicle's hydrodynamics, additional towing tank tests and computer simulation were performed. The present work, based on the towing tank test results and sea-trials data, utilizes computer simulations to predict the performance of the MUN Explorer AUV during horizontal zigzag manoeuvres. Next, the Nomoto indices for this AUV during constant-depth zigzag manoeuvres are estimated using the simulation results, and, then, Nomoto's first-order model for the rate of turn of the vehicle during horizontal zigzag manoeuvres in response to a square-wave input for the rudder deflection angle is analytically solved. The paper investigates the validity of the simplified yaw equation to predict a zigzag manoeuvre. Results of this research are a first step to understand the details of zigzag manoeuvres of an AUV such as duration of the first execute, yaw-checking ability, and duration of the overshoot. Farhood Azarsina and Christopher D. Williams Copyright © 2013 Farhood Azarsina and Christopher D. Williams. All rights reserved. Nonextensive Dynamics of Drifting Sea Ice Sun, 02 Dec 2012 15:55:16 +0000 Cycles of ice pack fragmentation in the Arctic Ocean are caused by the irregular drift dynamics. In February 2004, the Russian ice-research camp North Pole 32 established on a floe in the Arctic Ocean ceased its working activity and was abandoned after a catastrophic icequake. In this communication, the data collected during the last month of the field observations were used for calculating the changes in the kinetic energy of the ice floe. The energy distribution functions corresponding to periods of different drift intensity were analyzed using the Tsallis statistics, which allow one to assess a degree of deviation of an open dynamic system, such as the drifting ice, from its equilibrium state. The obtained results evidenced that the above-mentioned critical fragmentation has occurred in the period of substantially nonequilibrium dynamics of the system of ice floes. The determination of the state of the pack (in the sense of its equilibrium/nonequilibrium) could provide some useful information on forthcoming icequakes. Alexandre Chmel and Victor Smirnov Copyright © 2012 Alexandre Chmel and Victor Smirnov. All rights reserved. Wave Scattering by Small Undulation on the Porous Bottom of an Ocean in the Presence of Surface Tension Thu, 06 Sep 2012 17:59:39 +0000 The scattering of incident surface water waves due to small bottom undulation on the porous bed of a laterally unbounded ocean in the presence of surface tension at the free surface is investigated within the framework of two-dimensional linearized water wave theory. Perturbation analysis in conjunction with the Fourier transform technique is employed to derive the first-order reflection and transmission coefficients in terms of integrals involving the shape function 𝑐(𝑥) representing the bottom undulation. One special type of bottom topography is considered as an example and the related coefficients are determined in detail. These coefficients are presented in graphical forms. The theoretical observations are validated computationally. The results for the problem involving scattering of water waves by bottom deformations on an impermeable ocean bed are obtained as a particular case. Srikumar Panda, Sudhanshu Shekhar Samantaray, and S. C. Martha Copyright © 2013 Srikumar Panda et al. All rights reserved.