There are three primary objectives of this research: (1) to develop new tools and sensors for sampling the coastal and open ocean, (2) to use data collected to expand our understanding of circulation dynamics on the shelf and in the Northwest Atlantic and (3) to apply the data collected, and the understanding and models developed, to problems of ocean ecosystem dynamics.
The time scales of interest range from the near inertial to the seasonal and the interannual. The approach of this research is to integrate observational oceanographic studies with numerical modeling. Key features of the work are the development of new approaches to sampling, integration of the data and models, and the use of the models to interpret the data. The primary geographic focus of sea studies will be the continental shelf of the Northwest Atlantic: (1) the fjords and coastal embayments of Newfoundland and Labrador (2) the Northeast Newfoundland shelf and (3) the banks on the continental shelf of the Northwest Atlantic.
Historical data will be supplemented with new data from dedicated research cruises and mooring deployments and from the use of new sampling systems such as ocean gliders. Numerical models of the
physical dynamics, coupled with biological models of production of phytoplankton, zooplankton and ichthyoplankton, will be tested against observations. Modeling will be central to developing understanding
of both the physical and biophysical dynamics. The research should also lead to operational tools for further study and for ocean management.
The novelty of this work lies in the combination of the experimental, data analysis and numerical modeling approaches. It will integrate new observational techniques with models to strengthen our understanding of coastal ocean dynamics in a region where the seasonal signal is the strongest, at mid-latitudes. We seek to bridge the gap between event forcing and the seasonal and interannual response to resolve problems of coastal oceanography and to explore the application of such understanding.