Peaks in bioluminescence are often associated with small spatial features including frontal boundaries, vertical thin-layers, and convergence/divergence zones.1,2 Due to the highly variable nature of these features in the near shore environment, accurate assessment of bioluminescence potential is dependent upon the application of appropriate platforms and the use of these platforms at relevant time and space scales. Both traditional shipboard profiling techniques and moored vertical profiling instrumentation fail to adequately provide the appropriate spatial resolution to explain the dynamics of near shore bioluminescence. In an effort to resolve the mechanisms underlying the temporal and spatial variation in near shore bioluminescence, this study integrates an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) into a multi-platform adaptive sampling network. More specifically, we utilize the AUV to examine the effect of tides on the location and structure of optical, biological and physical signatures of a frontal zone in time and space. Furthermore, we examine the importance and significance of optimising the AUV flight paths to quantify small-scale structure in near shore environments.




URL: http://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/bio_fac/186