- Completed project
Stressor footprints and dynamics
We investigated how coastal waters and oceans mix and transport materials that can stress marine ecosystems.
|Craig Stevens (NIWA/University of Auckland)||April 2016 – June 2019||$1,195,000|
We investigated the connection between open ocean processes and the movement of stressors, such as contaminants, nutrients or sediment. The information we collected tells us about the potential ‘footprint’ of a stressor in Aotearoa New Zealand waters.
Our research investigated how stressors from land use or coastal ecosystems connect with the wider marine environment. We were particularly interested in how the coastal areas of Tasman and Golden Bays connect with the open ocean of Cook Strait.
We used cutting-edge technology – including ocean gliders, drifters and met-ocean buoys – to measure biological and physical properties, and track movement and dilution of water between coastal bays and oceans. A NIWA ocean glider has now made over a dozen missions through the focal region to measure stratification, layers of varying temperature and salinity in the ocean. This field data is integral to the development of predictive numerical models of stressor dispersal.
We also used drifters to gather information about the provenance and fate of materials, such as suspended sediment and bacteria or macroalgal larvae in Tasman and Golden Bays. For one experiment, we released four long-distance drifters. Their satellite positions over two months show that parcels of water that started out 30 kilometres apart ended up many hundreds of kilometres apart.
A better understanding of how biophysical factors can influence or alter these processes, and how these systems interlink is critical for EBM.
- Media coverage in April - June 2021 - 30 June 2021
- Media coverage in December 2020 - 31 December 2020
- Our last newsletter of 2020 is here - 14 December 2020
- Ocean robots show rivers flow further out to sea than expected - 16 November 2020
- Better connections would benefit biophysical research - 16 May 2019
- Ocean research in Aotearoa: prospects and predictions - 16 May 2019
- Award recognises contribution to marine science - 30 July 2018
- Free school resources about ecosystem connectivity and tipping points - 06 March 2018
- Smart aquaculture - 07 November 2017
- ‘Betty’ returns with info about eddies - 29 June 2017
- Uncovering the seas’ secrets - 26 June 2017
- Video: Why Tasman and Golden Bays? - 29 May 2017
- Tracking Tasman Bay - 24 May 2017