Volume 59

Lagrangian Measurements in the Southwestern Caribbean and its Implications for Larval Transport

Criales, M.M., Andrade., Lee, T.N., Williams, E., Lopez, A.
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Date: November, 2006

Pages: 641

Event: Proceedings of the Fifty Nine Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

City: Belize City

Country: Belize


ARGOS surface drifters were deployed at the Gulf of Salamanca (Colombian Caribbean) to describe surface circulation patterns that illustrate transport pathways in real time. Drifter tracks were useful to assess connectivity among populations of fishes and invertebrates with pelagic larvae in the Intra-American Sea. Circulation patterns demonstrated the wide range of paths through which pelagic larvae may be transported in different regions in the Intra-American Sea under the simplified assumption of passive larval dispersion by surface currents. ARGOS drifter tracks and altimetry maps from TOPEX/POSEIDON and ERS-2 revealed important mesoscale features of the surface circulation in the southwestern Caribbean. Of particular interest was the presence of cyclonic and anticyclonic eddies advected by the Caribbean Current, the quasi-permanent cyclone feature of the Panama-Colombia Gyre (PCG) and the upwelled water of the Colombian Guajira. Buoy trajectories were compared to those produced by an offline larval tracking system with passive dispersal. This information is useful for assessing locations of Marine Protected Areas and connectivity among populations of marine resources in the Intra-Americans Sea

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