Conceptual representation of transport of sinking particles. In Spring 2012 (a) particles collected at traps originated from confined, common areas to the north of the traps far from large mesoscale features. In Fall 2012 (b) a large Loop Current eddy dominated the circulation, and particles collected at GC600 originated from the eddy periphery and from inshore, river-influenced high-productive waters. For more details, see Figure 7 in the publication (used with permission from Guangpeng Liu).

Study Simulates How Large and Small Circulations Influence Sinking Marine Particles

Scientists used 3D regional ocean model simulations and sediment trap data to investigate how large (mesoscale) and small (submesoscale) circulations affect the transport of sinking particles, or marine snow, in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Small-scale convergence and divergence processes (a few kilometers) and cross-shore transport of riverine inputs induced by mesoscale eddies significantly influenced the speed and trajectory of sinking particles in offshore waters.

CARMMHA hosted several workshops and demonstrations at the Girl Scouts B.I.G. (Believe In Girls) event at the University of New Orleans. The girls learned about how scientists study dolphin health and participated in a mock dolphin assessment. See the CARMMHA website.

Science Education and Outreach at Festivals, Camps, and Events

Sharing science can be lots of fun, especially during events that have a light-hearted atmosphere where people gather for a good time. This past year, researchers and outreach staff from consortia funded by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative participated in a variety of events to share ocean and marine science that’s being used to study the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.