Observations on Deep Marine Structures: Florida Middle Ground, Pulley Ridge, and Howell Hook from the DeepWorker submersible, sustainable seas expedition, 2000.

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Observations on Deep Marine Structures: Florida Middle Ground, Pulley Ridge, and Howell Hook from the DeepWorker submersible, sustainable seas expedition, 2000.

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Title: Observations on Deep Marine Structures: Florida Middle Ground, Pulley Ridge, and Howell Hook from the DeepWorker submersible, sustainable seas expedition, 2000.
Author: Jaap, WC
Abstract: DeepWorker is a single-place research submersible with 600-m-depth capabilities. It is owned and operated by Nuytco, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. These observations were made during a series of dives made from the NOM Research Vessel Gordon Gunter from 14 to 31 August 2000. The submersible has an Aries video camera, lighting system, and a manipulator for collecting specimens. The pilot can mark locations using through-water communications to the surface vessel. The Florida Middle Ground (FMG, 28°10' to 28°45 'N and 84°00' to 84° 25 'W) is a large structural feature approximately 100 nmi northwest ofTampa Bay in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico. Two types of reef structures are typical: steep-sided pinnacles and flattopped plateaus. The tops are at about 25m depth, and they slope to about 40-m depths. The biota is rich with algae, sponges, octocorals, scleractinian corals, mobile invertebrates, and 170 species of fish. Our observations confirmed the presence of schools of amberjack, grouper, blue chromis, snapper, and large jewfish. Pulley Ridge (at approximately 83°20'W) is a structure that is an old shoreline beginning in 70 m depth off Charlotte Harbor (Boca Grande) and continues south to the Straits of Florida. There is a faunal gradient from temperate to tropical from north to south. The northern portions of the ridge have rock formations veneered with sponges, hydroids, octocorals, hydrocorals, and a few Carophyllid scleractinian corals; crinoids are very common. In the southern regions of Pulley Ridge, the leafy alga Anadyomene menziesii and the scleractinian coral Leptoseris cucullata are very common on mounds that also support red algae, sponges, hydrocorals, Ellisellid octocorals, and crinoids. The submersible operations were sponsored by the National Geographic Society's Sustainable Seas Expeditions investigation of the eastern Gulf of Mexico.
Description: American Academy of Underwater Sciences (http://www.aaus.org/)
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/8963
Date: 2000

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