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Developing the First Operational Nutrient Observatory for Ecosystem, Climate, and Hazard Monitoring for NERACOOS

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An integrated nutrient observatory is being developed within the Northeastern Regional Association of Coastal Ocean Observing Systems (NERACOOS), capable of monitoring nutrient dynamics year-round at temporal and spatial scales necessary to address critical needs of stakeholders throughout the Northeast region. Nutrient levels and fluxes drive total biological productivity throughout the region, from phytoplankton to commercially exploited fish stocks. Nitrate sensors (Satlantic SUNAs) are being installed on existing mooring assets in western Long Island Sound, Narragansett Bay (Prudence Island), Great Bay in New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, three sites along the coastal shelf of the Gulf of Maine (GOM), at five depths in Jordan Basin in the interior GOM, and at two depths in the GOM Northeast Channel. Phosphate and ammonium sensors (WET Labs Cycle-PO4 and Cycle-NH4) are also being deployed at the three nearshore sites. The measurements from these sensors will extend the current sparse, long-term records of nutrients from discretely collected samples in the Northeast region and will dramatically improve temporal resolution and continuity of the data for use in studying potential impacts of climate change. Nearshore measurements will be used by NERACOOS stakeholders to help assess, regulate, and mitigate the adverse impacts on water quality associated with excessive pollutant loadings. Measurements throughout the GOM will be used to assess basin-wide nutrient variability and to initialize harmful algal bloom (Alexandrium fundyense) forecast models.
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Keywords: autonomous; nutrients; observatory

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2015

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  • The Marine Technology Society Journal is the flagship publication of the Marine Technology Society. It publishes the highest caliber, peer-reviewed papers on subjects of interest to the society: marine technology, ocean science, marine policy and education. The Journal is dedicated to publishing timely special issues on emerging ocean community concerns while also showcasing general interest and student-authored works.
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