Southeastern Section–56th Annual Meeting (29–30 March 2007)

Paper No. 2
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM


HUNTER, Caroline Dietz, Chicago, IL 60657, SAUTTER, Leslie, Geology and Environmental Geosciences, College Of Charleston, 66 George St, Charleston, SC 29424 and SANCHO, Gorka, Department of Biology, College of Charleston, 66 George St, Chalreston, SC 29424,

Oceanographic processes of South Atlantic Bight (SAB) waters are influenced by the topography of the continental shelf, which subsequently impacts phytoplankton ecology. The Charleston Transect runs perpendicular to the shoreline off Folly Island, SC, across one of the widest portions of the SAB continental shelf, and into the continental slope. CTD and fluorometric surveys were taken along the mainline of the Charleston Transect during November 2003, May 2004, November 2004, and May 2005. Temperature profiles show seasonal stratification and mixing characteristic to the region. Salinity profiles show little to no stratification, suggesting that fluctuations in freshwater input from rivers and Gulf Stream flow are the primary forces influencing the changes in salinity of shelf waters. Patches of photosynthetically-active phytoplankton were detected in the outer shelf during November 2004 and May 2005. MODIS SST images collected by the South Atlantic Bight Synoptic Observational Network (SABSOON) during the time of the May 2005 survey support the hypothesis that the high productivity was the result of a Gulf Stream frontal eddy. This study aims to build on the current knowledge of physical-biological couplings influencing pelagic and benthic primary productivity in the South Atlantic Bight by illustrating across-shelf water column hydrography.