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Free Content Acoustical patchiness of mesopelagic micronekton

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Patterns of acoustical scattering in both depth and horizontal extent were analyzed to estimate the spatial and temporal scales of variability in biomass of mesopelagic sound scatterers, principally micronekton. The patterns observed included extensive layers of low and nearly uniform scattering strength and distinct three-dimensional patches of stronger scattering. These patches dispersed vertically at night after diel migration of a portion of the scatterers, but reassembled quite accurately the following day. Analysis of variance spectra for average acoustical scattering profiles within a patch suggest that micro-patches, with dimensions on the order of 15 m vertically by 1 km horizontally, are present both day and night. Horizontal variance spectra suggest the possibility of different horizontal aggregation mechanisms at scales above and below approximately 8.9 km.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 1985

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  • The Journal of Marine Research, one of the oldest journals in American marine science, publishes peer-reviewed research articles covering a broad array of topics in physical, biological and chemical oceanography. Articles that deal with processes, as well as those that report significant observations, are welcome. Biological studies involving coupling between ecological and physical processes are preferred over those that report systematics. The editors strive always to serve authors and readers in the academic oceanographic community by publishing papers vital to the marine research in the long and rich tradition of the Sears Foundation for Marine Research. We welcome you to the Journal of Marine Research.
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