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Science Home    Research    Monitoring    Habitat Characterization
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Research Publications/Chronology

MONITORING

Monitoring, in many different forms, is an essential part of the science efforts at Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. Click on the links below to visit each of the following categories on this page:

Water Quality

Long-Term Monitoring

Coral Bleaching

Coral Spawning

Coral Coring - Paleoclimatology

Hurricanes & Tropical Storms

Marine Debris

WATER QUALITY

During each cruise, opportunistic temperature and salinity profiles are measured by staff researchers using a YSI probe deployed by hand. These data compliment the data collected by stationary water quality instruments on the sea floor at each bank by giving additional information about the conditions at the surface and throughout the water column.

YSI Temperature Data June 2005-May 2011 (246kb pdf)

YSI Salinity Data June 2005-May 2011 (102kb pdf)

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LONG-TERM MONITORING

The three banks of Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary are monitored on an annual basis as part of a Long-term Monitoring program. This program, which first began at East and West Flower Garden Banks, is one of the longest long-term monitoring programs of a coral reef anywhere in the world!

For more information on long-term monitoring activities and reports, please click on the links below.

Long-term Monitoring: East and West Flower Garden Banks

Long-term Monitoring: Stetson Bank

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CORAL BLEACHING

The Gulf of Mexico is known for very warm summer waters that spawn hurricanes. These same temperatures can cause coral bleaching, a recurring problem on coral reefs around the world.

For more information about coral bleaching in the sanctuary, please click on the links below.

Coral Bleaching Basics - brief explanation of coral bleaching and what causes it.

Map showing remote sensing sites in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico
Remote sensing map from NOAA's Coral Reef Watch
virtual stations website

Remote Sensing through NOAA Coral Reef Watch - use this site to see what sea surface temperatures have been like in the sanctuary this year and how close they are to the bleaching threshhold.

ADDITIONAL MONITORING

Additional monitoring efforts are also undertaken in response to significant events in and around the sanctuary. These include annual occurrences such as the mass coral spawning, as well as intermittent events and ongoing problems.

For more information on these monitoring activities and reports, please click on the links below:

Coral Spawning

Hurricanes and Tropical Storms

Marine Debris

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weather report observations cool stuff get wet


Orange, branching gorgonian (soft coral) anchored in a bed of sponges and other sea life.
   
National Marine Sanctuary logo - a stylized whale tail above waves