Today has been a very productive day aboard the Pelican. We completed our westernmost transect today and have begun steaming east with plans to sample a few more coastal sites before making our way back to Cocodrie, LA, on Friday morning.
Many scientists onboard analyze their samples as they are collected. Now that the cruise is winding down, we are beginning to compare our data and speculate about their implications. Radium isotope data collected by Jim Krest's group from USF St. Pete has revealed that, in addition to the Radium supplied to the region by the ocean and by the rivers, there are additional sources of the isotopes being supplied to the region. The excess Radium may be a result of groundwater input, offshore oil and gas production, and/or resuspension of the sediment on the seafloor by dredging, shrimp trawling, etc. Also, Wei-Jen from the University of Georgia, has determined that dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) concentrations from the Mississippi River are more elevated that those from the Atchafalaya River. The implications of these results are still being explored, and collaboration among the scientists will continue throughout the coming months.
The weather continues to be warm and sunny with calm seas and magnificent sunsets.