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The Horn Point Laboratory Physical Oceanography group is currently involved with several research programs to expand our scientific understanding through environmental observation systems.
Chesapeake Bay Observing System
The Chesapeake Bay Observing System (CBOS) has pioneered the use of real-time data streams for the Chesapeake Bay. Under the direction of Dr. Bill Boicourt, the system is currently being expanded to integrate other institutions and observations.
Estuarine and coastal circulation
HPL investigators Dr. Bill Boicourt and Dr. Larry Sanford use CTD measurements as well as towed instrument platforms that can be flown from the surface at any depth in the water column to take rapid high resolution measurements of the physical and optical properties of the water. This section of oxygen shows mixing associated with the Chesapeake Bay hydraulic control point.
The purchase of an autonomous underwater research vehicle puts UMCES at the forefront of using state-of-the-art technology to advance the study of the coastal environment, such as what's happening on the coastal shelf, fisheries, harmful algal blooms and the extent of hypoxia in the Bay.
Under the direction of Dr. Nicholas Nidzieko, the Kongsberg-Hydroid REMUS 600, is capable of assembling a more comprehensive view of what's going on in the marine environment because it can operate closer to the bottom, in adverse weather conditions, and with greater flexibility than is presently possible with surface-based observations.
It will be delivered to the Horn Point Laboratory in Cambridge, Maryland, in March 2013 and be available as a shared resource for scientists to use in coastal environments around the world.
Sediment and turbulence
New technologies for simultaneous observations of turbulence, turbidity, particle size, and particle sinking velocity using an integrated water column profiler, which we call the DIFIK are being developed at HPL by Dr. Larry Sanford.
Satellite and aircraft based remote sensing gives us information about the ocean surface on large spatial scales. Using Ocean color measurements, Drs. Victoria Coles and Larry Harding recently discovered an echo phytoplankton bloom which was using recycled nitrogen from nitrogen fixation for a nutrient source. Aircraft based measurements over the Chesapeake Bay have revealed trends in surface phytoplankton biomass.