Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Environmental Sample Processor
Gulf of Maine ESP Field Experiment- May 2001

Our first deployment of the in situ Environmental Sample Processor (ESP) was in the Gulf of Maine, May 2001. We were looking for Alexandrium fundyense, a toxic dinoflagellate that people believe is concentrated by downwelling favorable winds.

Physical-biological coupling of HABs

(Note: these images are screen dumps from a model courtesy of D. Anderson at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. The actual wind fields that favor upwelling and downwelling conditions are the opposite direction of those shown here.)

Upwelling-favorable winds: plume of river discharge spread offshore; Alexandrium cells pushed away from the coast

Downwelling-favorable winds plume of river discharge hugs coastline; Alexandium cells moved on shore

CTD/fluorometer trace from the ESP Gulf of Maine 2001 deployment

The instrument was held at ~7 m below the surface of the water. Downwelling winds have a dramatic effect on the temperature and salinity profile. Crude, prototype arrays developed at the times shown (ESP1-4) record the delivery of Alexandrium cells to area where the ESP mooring was located


Examples of data obtained using the in situ ESP in Casco Bay, ME. 

A (above) Depth, temperature, salinity, and chlorophyll fluorescence recorded onboard the ESP during the deployment. Blue lines show ESP sampling times; red arrows indicate when bottle samples were collected near the ESP mooring; #'s 1-4 correspond to the arrays shown in the middle panel

B (top, below). Prototype DNA probe arrays developed onboard the ESP; the two bright spots on the top and left are registration marks; probes for Pseudo-nitzchia australis (top), P. multiseries/pseudodelicatissima (middle) and A. tamarense (bottom) are spotted in quadruplicate.

C (bottom, below). Results of benchtop sandwich hybridization assays (see Scholin et al., J. Phycol. 1999, 35:1356-1367) for bottle samples; probes used are the same as hose spotted onto the arrays. Shaded area is non-detection range; values above that indicate a positive reaction; red = A.tam; green = P.aus; purple = P. multi/pseudodeli.


2002 Monterey Bay ESP Field Experiment

Last updated: Feb. 04, 2009