New and improved, more compact and portable water quality instruments , built by Tony Whipple of the Leuttich Lab are being installed on the M.V. Neuse, allowing for easier transfer from ferries.
This would not be possible without help from our friends at NCDOT ferry division. David Griffin and John Destefano were instrumental in getting things connected.
The M.V. Neuse, appropriately named, is currently crossing the Neuse River from Cherry Branch to Minnesott Beach.
Stay tuned for updates on the FerryMon Page as to when this system is up and running. https://paerllab.web.unc.edu/projects/ferrymon/
David “Sparky”, John and Tony
The water quality analysis system
I’m an environmental science major heading into my senior year at UNC Chapel Hill. I have minors in Marine Science and Chinese. I have participated in conservation-related field work throughout my undergraduate career, beginning with a summer of ecology research at the Flathead Lake Biological Station in Glacier National Park, followed by 7 months of renewable energy research in Thailand, and most recently, during my semester at UNC IMS carrying out research for my senior honors thesis. I will be continuing this research at IMS with the help of the Mary and Watts Hill Student Internship Fund. Through this work, I hope to determine a relationship between harmful algal bloom formation and changes to salinity in the estuaries of coastal North Carolina, in light of climate change-driven changes to hydrologic event patterns. Thanks to funding and support from the Mary and Watts Hill Fund, I can continue to pursue my passion and develop my understanding of the natural world for a future career in sustainability.
The Neuse is an estuary again, a strongly salinity, stratified estuary with hypoxic bottom waters. The hypoxic zone stretched from just downstream of New Bern to the mouth. A zone of high chlorophyll with a subsurface maximum at ~1 m depth was detected from stations 20 to 70. Microscopic examination of surface waters from station 50 revealed a community dominated by freshwater diatoms, primarily Aulacoseira.
Until the next trip,
Not much has changed on the Neuse. It’s still much fresher than normal. There is a small bolus of high salinity bottom water at station 160, but that’s likely intruding from the intercoastal waterway. High chlorophyll (~30 ug/L) and turbidity occurred near the surface at station 100, and microscopy identified high concentrations of the diatom Aulacoseira sp., and a high concentrations of several cryptophyte species. These phytoplankton are non-toxic and considered “good” phytoplankton that tend to contribute energy to higher trophic levels.
Mitigating the Expansion of Harmful Algal Blooms Across the Freshwater-to-Marine Continuum, Hans W. Paerl, Timothy G. Otten, and Raphael Kudela
Has been awarded the top feature article of 2018 by Environment Science & Technology Journal.
Check it out
Paerl et al ES&T CyanoHABs along Continuum 2018
With flows just above average, the Neuse is starting to look more like an estuary, a really fresh estuary but at least with some salt at all the lower stations. Moderate chlorophyll values of ~20 were patchily distributed throughout the mid/lower estuary.
Best regards, Nathan