Date of Award

Summer 1987

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Ocean & Earth Sciences



Committee Director

William M. Dunstan

Committee Member

Gregory Cutter

Committee Member

Ronald E. Johnson

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.O35D38


Particle variability at a Gulf Stream warm core ring/ shelf break front on 09 Nay 1985 was analyzed. Single particle measurements of fluorescence, perpendicular light scatter, and volume were made using a FACS Analyzer flow cytometer. Advantages and disadvantages of at-sea use of the instrument are described. To evaluate the flow cytometry data, individual particle data were compared with bulk phytoplankton and particle measurements. Abundance and size distributions of fluorescent and non-fluorescent particles indicated a convergence zone at the front while upwelling was likely within the ring perimeter. Variability in fluorescence (approximating chlorophyll A) and cell biovolume exposed regions of maximum and minimum values that were not shown by the bulk data and did not coincide with the location of the traditional subsurface chlorophyll maximum. The relative importance of physical and biological factors to the distribution of algal cells in the frontal regime is discussed. A phytoplankton assemblage in early succession was situated at the front while one of a later successional stage was positioned within the ring periphery.


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