Saturday, July 14, 2012

RV Bellows Geomorphology/Shallow Shelf Seafloor Mapping Cruise - July 2012


Hard bottom site.
DAY 3 (July 14, 2012)

Day 3 finds us heading south into increasing sea state. We continued heading south along the deep 120-130 m transect toward the Madison Swanson area where we planned to do some hard bottom searching around the previously mapped areas of the reserve. The weather is a factor today, with winds out of the southeast pushing 3-4, and some 5 ft seas at us - we will not be able to work on across shelf lines. Towing a fish at depth limits the maneuverability of the ship on turns – quick turns can crash the fish into the sea floor. The sea state also limited the course we could take. With the high relief bottom topography in the MD area and we had to be careful how we progressed. The decision was to make our way up wind, and then chart a zig-zag course downwind to the northwest across the MD area to get some coverage there. This would be a good way to try to find paleoshorelines (important habitat) that we expect to find between 80 and 60 meters water depth.
           
Had some time to do some initial data review. Here is some interesting hardbottom we found on the P transect south of Pensacola in about 25 m water depth. In the “Hard bottom site” figure – the dark is high backscatter hard bottom. A transparent overlay of the bathymetry in color shows that the hard bottom is topographically low, surrounded by sand dunes of higher elevation.

Today the student guest blog is by Markietta Butler-Hill, FSU.

The Galley:  The food is great, and colorful!
“ What did I get myself into? Just minutes ago I was thinking to myself “I shouldn’t of come”. But, in a way, I’m glad I did. Three home cooked meals for a whole WEEK. Plus ample thinking time. The water’s been choppy all day. I see why Samira’s been below the whole time. The worst part of the trip is the sleeping arrangements. Its soooooo cramped. Dr. Stan compared it to camp. Glad I’ve never been. Overall, this has definitely been an experience so far. Can’t wait to see what comes next!  -Kie”
Post Author:

Dr. Stan Locker
 

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