Ecohab: Florida; Hydrography/Physical Oceanography Component

EPA Grant Number: R826792
Title: Ecohab: Florida; Hydrography/Physical Oceanography Component
Investigators: Vargo, Gabriel A. , Sturges, Wilton , Weatherly, Georges
Current Investigators: Vargo, Gabriel A.
Institution: University of South Florida , Florida State University
Current Institution: University of South Florida
EPA Project Officer: Hiscock, Michael
Project Period: June 1, 1998 through May 31, 2001
Project Amount: $360,000
RFA: Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms (1998) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Water Quality , Harmful Algal Blooms , Water , Ecosystems


The objectives of the Ecohab:Florida program include: (1) Model the initiation, maintenance, and export of G. breve red tides on the West Florida Shelf at different time and space scales to predict landfall, (2) Describe the physical habitat that effects transport and concentration of G. breve, (3) Determine the interactions of cellular, behavioral, life cycle, and community regulation processes with environmental forcing factors during stages of bloom development, (4) Determine the sources of inorganic and organic nutrients that allow growth and persistence of large G. breve populations in coastal waters, and (5) Determine the production, occurrence, fate, and effects of brevetoxins in the environment during and after G. breve blooms. The specific objectives of this subsection of the Ecohab:Florida program are: (1) Provide basic current meter and meteorological measurements on the northern West Florida Shelf off Cedar Key, (2) Provide monthly near-synoptic surveys of the physical, chemical, and biological fields within the Ecohab:Florida control volume, and (3) Provide chlorophyll-a and biomass indicators at selected locations within the Ecohab:Florida control volume.


The following will be applied to meet the objectives of this subsection of the Ecohab:Florida program; (1) install and maintain an ADCP mooring between the 20 and 30 meter isobaths along the northern West Florida Shelf at the approximate latitude of Cedar Key. Since preliminary observations suggest transport through this region is critical, basic information from this region will be essential for model calibration and validation. Quarterly maintenance cruises will provide an opportunity to collect samples for cell counts and other variable. To meet objectives (2) and (3), standard hydrographic measurements (CTD) will be taken monthly for 3 years at five nautical mile intervals along three quasi-synoptic cross shelf and at least one along shelf transects. Water samples at selected depths (5m intervals at mooring locations in <50 m depth, 10m intervals at mooring locations in >50m depth) are collected at every other location and at all mooring locations for the determination of phytoplankton biomass, abundance, and water column chlorophyll-a concentration. Biomass is measured as particulate carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus. Live cell counts for G. breve are done from surface and selected depths along each transect and bulk water samples are preserved for the determination of phytoplankton community structure. Additional water samples are collected for the determination of total dissolved nitrogen and phosphorus. They will be used in conjunction with other measurements of the inorganic fractions of each nutrient to assess the organic N and P concentration. These results will establish the boundary conditions for the ecological and physical model and provide data sets for calibration and validation. Phytoplankton community composition and chlorophyll-a data will also provide ground-truth for remote sensing components of the program.

Expected Results:

(1) current meter and meteorological measurements will provide input for far-field effects for the physical component of the Ecohab:Florida predictive model. (2) and (3) temporal and spatial variability in phytoplankton biomass and abundance, particulate ratios, estimates of nutrient requirements, relationships between biological and physical variables, geo-referenced physical and hydrographic data sets for all Ecohab:Florida investigators.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 31 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 4 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

harmful algal blooms, ecosystem, habitat, marine science, ecology, oceanography, monitoring, satellite, Gulf of Mexico, tourist industry., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Geographic Area, Water, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, State, Oceanography, algal blooms, Biochemistry, remote sensing, bloom dynamics, coastal resources, hydrography, marine biotoxins, brevetoxins, phytoplankton, remote sensing techniques, transport and concentration, bioindicator development, ECOHAB, Florida, FLA

Relevant Websites:

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1998 Progress Report
  • 1999
  • Final Report