From 1962-1970, the Laboratory conducted monthly aerial surveys using infrared radiation thermography aboard a U.S. Coast Guard Albatross aircraft to obtain synoptic monthly mappings of sea surface temperatures with the goal of associating the temperature data with aerial sighting and records of aquatic organisms along the Atlantic continental shelf. By 1969, more than 10,000 observations of fishes, turtles, and marine mammals, in addition to thousands of transect miles of surface temperature, were recorded and over 70,000 drift bottles and sea bed drifters were released. The resultant monthly sea surface temperature charts were mailed to a distribution list and published regularly in the Red Bank Register, a local newspaper. Surface temperatures were sent to Naval Fleet Weather Facility, and animal observations reported to the Naval Oceanographic Office. The project expanded its activities in later years to include experimentation with the efficacy of using helicopters in survey activities; the use of drift bottles and seabed drifters as a cooperative research project with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; and surveying rivers and estuaries for a thermal pollution study for the Naval Underwater Sound Laboratory.
Lionel A. Walford Library, James J. Howard Marine Sciences Laboratory
A photograph of a chart depicting southern Atlantic states continental shelf sea-surface data that was collected by the Sandy Hook Laboratory and U.S. Coast Guard during their monthly airborne infrared radiation thermography surveys. The chart is titled “Aerial Shelf Survey Surface Isotherms – °C from Infrared Radiation Thermometer.” The survey area shown in the chart encompasses North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. The chart attribution, below the title, is “Sandy Hook Marine Laboratory, U.S. Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife in cooperation with the U.S Coast Guard and the Committee for Scientific Exploration for the Atlantic Shelf.” The chart shows the survey flight (shown in key as “___”) and temperatures in parenthesis as degrees Fahrenheit. Flight conditions are described for the survey’s flight tracks, which occurred over three days in July 1968, as described by the schedule in the bottom-right corner of the chart. The chart describes conditions for transects A, C-H, K, and L, which were surveyed July 17th, as “sea, calm-slight; sky, clear; wind, SW 0-5 kts.; air temp., 82-84°F.” Conditions for transects M-P, R-S, which were surveyed July 18th, are described as “sea, calm-slight; sky, clear; wind, N 0-5 kts.; air temp., 81-84°F.” Conditions for transects Q, T-Z, which were surveyed July 19th, are described as “sea, slight-moderate; sky, clear- ptly. cldy.; wind, S-SW 8-15 kts.; air temp., 82-84°F.” The cities identified on the chart, from north to south, are: Cape Fear, Cape Romain, Charleston, Savannah, Jacksonville, Cape Kennedy, West Palm Beach, and Miami. Center-bottom on the chart a note is included that “Deviations on transects A-L due to search and rescue operations.” A key is given in the bottom-right corner of the chart that identifies the symbols for observation and recording of marine animals that include mola, whale, shark, hammerhead, fish, turtle, ray, manta, school, porpoise, and flying fish. A symbol for foreign trawlers is also depicted. This chart is documentation of the Laboratory's survey strategy. Each month, the Laboratory conducted two surveys, one north and one south of Cape Fear, North Carolina. Weather permitting, the surveys occurred within the same four day interval as the previous month and were scheduled as close to the middle of the month as possible.
This item is in the public domain. While there are no restrictions on use, we would appreciate if you provided credit when you use this item to the: “U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, National Marine Fisheries Service, James J. Howard Marine Sciences Laboratory, Highlands, NJ.”
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This item is part of a collection of materials, including photographic prints, slides, and negatives, that were maintained in various locations within the James J. Howard Marine Sciences Laboratory since their origination in 1962 to 1970, and/or donated to the Library upon staff retirement. All materials are part of the Laboratory's Lionel A. Walford Library permanent collection.