U.S. GLOBEC Georges Bank Program

The U.S. GLOBEC Georges Bank Program is a large multi- disciplinary multi-year oceanographic effort. The proximate goal is to understand the population dynamics of key species on the Bank - Cod, Haddock, and two species of zooplankton (Calanus finmarchicus and Pseudocalanus) - in terms of their coupling to the physical environment and in terms of their predators and prey. The ultimate goal is to be able to predict changes in the distribution and abundance of these species as a result of changes in their physical and biotic environment as well as to anticipate how their populations might respond to climate change.

The effort is substantial, requiring broad-scale surveys of the entire Bank, and process studies which focus both on the links between the target species and their physical environment, and the determination of fundamental aspects of these species' life history (birth rates, growth rates, death rates, etc).

Equally important are the modelling efforts that are ongoing which seek to provide realistic predictions of the flow field and which utilize the life history information to produce an integrated view of the dynamics of the populations.

The U.S. GLOBEC Georges Bank Executive Committee (EXCO) provides program leadership and effective communication with the funding agencies.

There are three types of cruises collecting the necessary data: broad-scale, process and mooring.


Broad-scale cruises will carry out CTD (Salinity, Temperature and Depth), zooplankton, fish larval, and acoustic surveys of Georges Bank and adjacent waters. On each survey cruise 50-60 stations will be occupied, with approximately 40 of these located to provide a uniform, bank wide coverage, and the rest of the stations located to provide a more intensive coverage in the region of the bank where larval cod and haddock are found. Appendix 3 is a map showing the basic stations while Appendix 4 is the positions (latitude/longitude pairs) for these stations. At all 50-60 stations, a double Bongo tow, a CTD cast and a MOCNESS-1 (Multiple Opening/Closing Net Environmental Sensing System) tow will be done. At approximately 15 of the basic stations, a plankton pump and 10-m MOCNESS will also be deployed.


Process cruises are designed to measure vital physiological rates of zooplankton and fish larvae, and to determine fine-scale vertical and horizontal distribution of zooplankton on Georges Bank . The general approach will be to deploy GPS/ARGOS drifters at sites in different hydrographic regimes on the bank and to follow each drifter for 24 to 72 hours. Copepod egg laying, feeding, and growth rates, and larval fish (cod) feeding rates will be measured experimentally on board ship. Zooplankton at these stations will be sampled in a variety of ways, including pump, MOCNESS-1, VPR (Video Plankton Recorder) and TAPS (Tracor Acoustic Profiling System, a multi-frequency acoustic system that is lowered with the CTD). Microzooplankton will be sampled with Goflo Bottles. Hydrography, and zooplankton abundance, distribution, stage frequency distribution, and condition will be measured at stations between the drifter stations and along selected transects. The VPR on Jason will focus on studies of zooplankton behavior and distribution in different hydrographic regimes on the bank.


Mooring cruises both set and retrieve the long term moorings. Mooring locations are identified in Appendix 4. These moorings collect Vector velocity (VACM) at two heights - 15m and 45m. Temperature data are collected at 1, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, and 45m combinations of VACM, SeaCats, and Branker t-probes with hourly averages. Salinity sensors are at 1, 10, 20, 30, and 40m, using Seabird SeaCats at 2 Hz. During these cruises, hydrographic sections with a CTD will be made.

Additional Data

The data collected at sea are analyzed along with other available data such as satellite sea surface temperature images derived from full (1 km) resolution AVHRR satellite data for all of Georges Bank and the Gulf of Maine. Also analyzed are spatially averaged CZCS pigment images derived from full (1 km) resolution CZCS and SeaWiFS satellite data for all of Georges Bank and the Gulf of Maine.

Summary Statistics

Phase No. of participating Scientifc Investigators
I 70
II 81
III 80

Participating institutions

Bedford Institute of Oceanography
Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences
Brookhaven National Laboratories
Cornell University
Dartmouth College
Florida State University
Institut Maurice-Lamontagne
Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University
Louisiana State University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
National Marine Fisheries Service/Narragansett
National Marine Fisheries Service/Sandy Hook
National Marine Fisheries Service/Woods Hole
Ohio University
Oregon State University
Rutgers University
San Francisco State University
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
State University of New York
University of Alaska
University of Georgia
University of Maine
University of Massachusetts
University of Miami
University of New Hampshire
University of North Carolina
University of Rhode Island
University of Southern California
University of Washington
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

There are other institutions and organizations with close connections with our program such as Marconi Aerospace Defenses Systems and the United States Geological Survey/Woods Hole. Also, there are organizations outside of North America that interact with our PI's. See links at http://globec.whoi.edu/globec-dir/other-globec-sites.html.

Cruise Statistics

U.S. Cruises Canadian Cruises
Year No. of Cruises No. of Days at Sea No. of Cruises No. of Days at Sea

1 6
1994 8 82 1 7
1995 23 272 2 18
1996 11 115 1 8
1997 23 252 1 8
1998 12 122

1999 27 331 4 30
Totals: 104 1,174 10 77

Notes: (1) R/V Endeavor cruise EN267 is composed of two cruise legs, but is counted as a single cruise. (2) Values from 1999 are not yet final. (3) COP and other collaborator cruises are not included in these figures.

Additional information about cruises is available at http://globec.whoi.edu/globec-dir/cruise-summary-lists.html.

Last modified: July 22, 2002