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J. Mar. Sci. Eng., Volume 4, Issue 2 (June 2016)

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Open AccessArticle
Metal Bioaccumulation by Estuarine Food Webs in New England, USA
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2016, 4(2), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse4020041 - 03 Jun 2016
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2060
Abstract
Evaluating the degree of metal exposure and bioaccumulation in estuarine organisms is important for understanding the fate of metals in estuarine food webs. We investigated the bioaccumulation of Hg, methylmercury (MeHg), Cd, Se, Pb, and As in common intertidal organisms across a watershed [...] Read more.
Evaluating the degree of metal exposure and bioaccumulation in estuarine organisms is important for understanding the fate of metals in estuarine food webs. We investigated the bioaccumulation of Hg, methylmercury (MeHg), Cd, Se, Pb, and As in common intertidal organisms across a watershed urbanization gradient of coastal marsh sites in New England to relate metal exposure and bioaccumulation in fauna to both chemical and ecological factors. In sediments, we measured metal and metalloid concentrations, total organic carbon (TOC) and SEM-AVS (Simultaneously extracted metal-acid volatile sulfides). In five different functional feeding groups of biota, we measured metal concentrations and delta 15N and delta 13C signatures. Concentrations of Hg and Se in biota for all sites were always greater than sediment concentrations whereas Pb in biota was always lower. There were positive relationships between biota Hg concentrations and sediment concentrations, and between biota MeHg concentrations and both pelagic feeding mode and trophic level. Bioavailability of all metals measured as SEM-AVS or Benthic-Sediment Accumulation Factor was lower in more contaminated sites, likely due to biogeochemical factors related to higher levels of sulfides and organic carbon in the sediments. Our study demonstrates that for most metals and metalloids, bioaccumulation is metal specific and not directly related to sediment concentrations or measures of bioavailability such as AVS-SEM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Trace Metal Contamination in Estuarine and Coastal Environments)
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Open AccessArticle
Sandbar Migration and Shoreline Change on the Chirihama Coast, Japan
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2016, 4(2), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse4020040 - 03 Jun 2016
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1906
Abstract
Sandy beaches play a key role in regional tourism. It is important to understand the principal morphological processes behind preserving attractive beaches. In this study, morphological variation on the Chirihama Coast, Japan, an important local tourism resource, was investigated using two sets of [...] Read more.
Sandy beaches play a key role in regional tourism. It is important to understand the principal morphological processes behind preserving attractive beaches. In this study, morphological variation on the Chirihama Coast, Japan, an important local tourism resource, was investigated using two sets of field surveys. The objective was to analyze and document the multi-scale behaviors of the beach. First, long-term shoreline changes were examined based on shoreline surveys over the last two decades. Then, the middle-term behavior of multiple bar systems was analyzed based on the cross-shore profile surveys from 1998 to 2010. An empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis was conducted to capture the principal modes of the systematic bar migration. The shoreline analysis indicated a long-term eroding trend and showed that the seasonal variation has recently tended to increase. The profile analysis demonstrated that net offshore migrations of bars have been repeated with a return period of approximately four years. This general behavior of the bar system is similar to the net offshore migration phenomena observed at other sites in the world. EOF analysis revealed a relationship between bar configuration and middle-term variations in shoreline location; when a new bar is generated near the shoreline and a triple bar configuration is established, the shoreline tends to temporarily retreat, whereas the shoreline experiences an advance when the outer bar has most evolved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coastal Morphodynamics) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Gene Transcript Profiling in Sea Otters Post-Exxon Valdez Oil Spill: A Tool for Marine Ecosystem Health Assessment
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2016, 4(2), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse4020039 - 01 Jun 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2364
Abstract
Using a panel of genes stimulated by oil exposure in a laboratory study, we evaluated gene transcription in blood leukocytes sampled from sea otters captured from 2006–2012 in western Prince William Sound (WPWS), Alaska, 17–23 years after the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill [...] Read more.
Using a panel of genes stimulated by oil exposure in a laboratory study, we evaluated gene transcription in blood leukocytes sampled from sea otters captured from 2006–2012 in western Prince William Sound (WPWS), Alaska, 17–23 years after the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill (EVOS). We compared WPWS sea otters to reference populations (not affected by the EVOS) from the Alaska Peninsula (2009), Katmai National Park and Preserve (2009), Clam Lagoon at Adak Island (2012), Kodiak Island (2005) and captive sea otters in aquaria. Statistically, sea otter gene transcript profiles separated into three distinct clusters: Cluster 1, Kodiak and WPWS 2006–2008 (higher relative transcription); Cluster 2, Clam Lagoon and WPWS 2010–2012 (lower relative transcription); and Cluster 3, Alaska Peninsula, Katmai and captive sea otters (intermediate relative transcription). The lower transcription of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR), an established biomarker for hydrocarbon exposure, in WPWS 2010–2012 compared to earlier samples from WPWS is consistent with declining hydrocarbon exposure, but the pattern of overall low levels of transcription seen in WPWS 2010–2012 could be related to other factors, such as food limitation, pathogens or injury, and may indicate an inability to mount effective responses to stressors. Decreased transcriptional response across the entire gene panel precludes the evaluation of whether or not individual sea otters show signs of exposure to lingering oil. However, related studies on sea otter demographics indicate that by 2012, the sea otter population in WPWS had recovered, which indicates diminishing oil exposure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Oil Spills) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessReview
Quantitative Estimates of Bio-Remodeling on Coastal Rock Surfaces
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2016, 4(2), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse4020037 - 26 May 2016
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1855
Abstract
Remodeling of rocky coasts and erosion rates have been widely studied in past years, but not all the involved processes acting over rocks surface have been quantitatively evaluated yet. The first goal of this paper is to revise the different methodologies employed in [...] Read more.
Remodeling of rocky coasts and erosion rates have been widely studied in past years, but not all the involved processes acting over rocks surface have been quantitatively evaluated yet. The first goal of this paper is to revise the different methodologies employed in the quantification of the effect of biotic agents on rocks exposed to coastal morphologic agents, comparing their efficiency. Secondly, we focus on geological methods to assess and quantify bio-remodeling, presenting some case studies in an area of the Mediterranean Sea in which different geological methods, inspired from the revised literature, have been tested in order to provide a quantitative assessment of the effects some biological covers exert over rocky platforms in tidal and supra-tidal environments. In particular, different experimental designs based on Schmidt hammer test results have been applied in order to estimate rock hardness related to different orders of littoral platforms and the bio-erosive/bio-protective role of Chthamalus ssp. and Verrucariaadriatica. All data collected have been analyzed using statistical tests to evaluate the significance of the measures and methodologies. The effectiveness of this approach is analyzed, and its limits are highlighted. In order to overcome the latter, a strategy combining geological and experimental–computational approaches is proposed, potentially capable of revealing novel clues on bio-erosion dynamics. An experimental-computational proposal, to assess the indirect effects of the biofilm coverage of rocky shores, is presented in this paper, focusing on the shear forces exerted during hydration-dehydration cycles. The results of computational modeling can be compared to experimental evidence, from nanoscopic to macroscopic scales. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coastal Morphodynamics) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
A Conceptual Model for Spatial Grain Size Variability on the Surface of and within Beaches
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2016, 4(2), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse4020038 - 25 May 2016
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2135
Abstract
Grain size on the surface of natural beaches has been observed to vary spatially and temporally with morphology and wave energy. The stratigraphy of the beach at Duck, North Carolina, USA was examined using 36 vibracores (~1–1.5 m long) collected along a cross-shore [...] Read more.
Grain size on the surface of natural beaches has been observed to vary spatially and temporally with morphology and wave energy. The stratigraphy of the beach at Duck, North Carolina, USA was examined using 36 vibracores (~1–1.5 m long) collected along a cross-shore beach profile. Cores show that beach sediments are finer (~0.3 mm) and more uniform high up on the beach. Lower on the beach, with more swash and wave action, the sand is reworked, segregated by size, and deposited in layers and patches. At the deepest measurement sites in the swash (~−1.4 to −1.6 m NAVD88), which are constantly being reworked by the energetic shore break, there is a thick layer (60–80 cm) of very coarse sediment (~2 mm). Examination of two large trenches showed that continuous layers of coarse and fine sands comprise beach stratigraphy. Thicker coarse layers in the trenches (above mean sea level) are likely owing to storm erosion and storm surge elevating the shore break and swash, which act to sort the sediment. Those layers are buried as water level retreats, accretion occurs and the beach recovers from the storm. Thinner coarse layers likely represent similar processes acting on smaller temporal scales. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coastal Morphodynamics) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Cutting the Umbilical: New Technological Perspectives in Benthic Deep-Sea Research
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2016, 4(2), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse4020036 - 20 May 2016
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2817
Abstract
Many countries are very active in marine research and operate their own research fleets. In this decade, a number of research vessels have been renewed and equipped with the most modern navigation systems and tools. However, much of the research gear used for [...] Read more.
Many countries are very active in marine research and operate their own research fleets. In this decade, a number of research vessels have been renewed and equipped with the most modern navigation systems and tools. However, much of the research gear used for biological sampling, especially in the deep-sea, is outdated and dependent on wired operations. The deployment of gear can be very time consuming and, thus, expensive. The present paper reviews wire-dependent, as well as autonomous research gear for biological sampling at the deep seafloor. We describe the requirements that new gear could fulfil, including the improvement of spatial and temporal sampling resolution, increased autonomy, more efficient sample conservation methodologies for morphological and molecular studies and the potential for extensive in situ real-time studies. We present applicable technologies from robotics research, which could be used to develop novel autonomous marine research gear, which may be deployed independently and/or simultaneously with traditional wired equipment. A variety of technological advancements make such ventures feasible and timely. In proportion to the running costs of modern research vessels, the development of such autonomous devices might be already paid off after a discrete number of pioneer expeditions. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Recent Advances in the Study of Marine Microbial Biofilm: From the Involvement of Quorum Sensing in Its Production up to Biotechnological Application of the Polysaccharide Fractions
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2016, 4(2), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse4020034 - 13 May 2016
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2103
Abstract
The present review will explore the most relevant findings on marine microbial biofilm, with particular attention towards its polysaccharide fraction, namely exopolysaccharide (EPS). EPSs of microbial origin are ubiquitous in nature, possess unique properties and can be isolated from the bacteria living in [...] Read more.
The present review will explore the most relevant findings on marine microbial biofilm, with particular attention towards its polysaccharide fraction, namely exopolysaccharide (EPS). EPSs of microbial origin are ubiquitous in nature, possess unique properties and can be isolated from the bacteria living in a variety of habitats, including fresh water or marine environments, extreme environments or different soil ecosystems. These biopolymers have many application in the field of biotechnology. Several studies showed that the biofilm formation is closely related to quorum sensing (QS) systems, which is a mechanism relying on the production of small molecules defined as “autoinducers” that bacteria release in the surrounding environment where they accumulate. In this review, the involvement of microbial chemical communication, by QS mechanism, in the formation of marine biofilm will also be discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Biomolecular Technologies in Marine Science)
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Open AccessArticle
A Floating Ocean Energy Conversion Device and Numerical Study on Buoy Shape and Performance
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2016, 4(2), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse4020035 - 10 May 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2635
Abstract
Wave and current energy can be harnessed in the East China Sea and South China Sea; however, both areas are subject to high frequencies of typhoon events. To improve the safety of the ocean energy conversion device, a Floating Ocean Energy Conversion Device [...] Read more.
Wave and current energy can be harnessed in the East China Sea and South China Sea; however, both areas are subject to high frequencies of typhoon events. To improve the safety of the ocean energy conversion device, a Floating Ocean Energy Conversion Device (FOECD) with a single mooring system is proposed, which can be towed to avoid severe ocean conditions or for regular maintenance. In this paper, the structure of the FOECD is introduced, and it includes a catamaran platform, an oscillating buoy part, a current turbine blade, hydraulic energy storage and an electrical generation part. The numerical study models the large catamaran platform as a single, large buoy, while the four floating buoys were modeled simply as small buoys. Theoretical models on wave energy power capture and efficiency were established. To improve the suitability of the buoy for use in the FOECD and its power harvesting capability, a numerical simulation of the four buoy geometries was undertaken. The shape profiles examined in this paper are cylindrical, turbinate (V-shaped and U-shaped cone with cylinder), and combined cylinder-hemisphere buoys. Simulation results reveal that the suitability of a turbinate buoy is the best of the four types. Further simulation models were carried out by adjusting the tip radius of the turbinate buoy. Three performance criteria including suitability, power harvesting capability and energy capture efficiency were analyzed. It reveals that the turbinate buoy has almost the same power harvesting capabilities and energy capture efficiency, while its suitability is far better than that of a cylindrical buoy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ocean Wave Energy Conversion)
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Open AccessArticle
Observation of Whole Flushing Process of a River Sand Bar by a Flood Using X-Band Radar
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2016, 4(2), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse4020032 - 04 May 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1563
Abstract
Morphological changes during a flood event in July 2010 were observed with X-band marine radar at the mouth of Tenryu River, Shizuoka, Japan. Radar images were collected hourly for more than 72 h from the beginning of the flood and processed into time-averaged [...] Read more.
Morphological changes during a flood event in July 2010 were observed with X-band marine radar at the mouth of Tenryu River, Shizuoka, Japan. Radar images were collected hourly for more than 72 h from the beginning of the flood and processed into time-averaged images. Changes in the morphology of the area were interpreted from the time-averaged images, revealing that the isolated river dune was washed away by the flood, the width of the river mouth increased gradually, and the river mouth terrace expanded radially. Furthermore, image analysis of the radar images was applied to estimate the migration speed of the brightness pattern, which is assumed to be a proxy of bottom undulation of the river bed. The migration was observed to be faster when the water level gradient between the river channel and sea increased. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coastal Morphodynamics) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Vegetation Impact and Recovery from Oil-Induced Stress on Three Ecologically Distinct Wetland Sites in the Gulf of Mexico
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2016, 4(2), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse4020033 - 03 May 2016
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1863
Abstract
April 20, 2010 marked the start of the British Petroleum Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the largest marine oil spill in US history, which contaminated coastal wetland ecosystems across the northern Gulf of Mexico. We used hyperspectral data from 2010 and 2011 to compare [...] Read more.
April 20, 2010 marked the start of the British Petroleum Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the largest marine oil spill in US history, which contaminated coastal wetland ecosystems across the northern Gulf of Mexico. We used hyperspectral data from 2010 and 2011 to compare the impact of oil contamination and recovery of coastal wetland vegetation across three ecologically diverse sites: Barataria Bay (saltmarsh), East Bird’s Foot (intermediate/freshwater marsh), and Chandeleur Islands (mangrove-cordgrass barrier islands). Oil impact was measured by comparing wetland pixels along oiled and oil-free shorelines using various spectral indices. We show that the Chandeleur Islands were the most vulnerable to oiling, Barataria Bay had a small but widespread and significant impact, and East Bird’s Foot had negligible impact. A year later, the Chandeleur Islands showed the strongest signs of recovery, Barataria Bay had a moderate recovery, and East Bird’s Foot had only a slight increase in vegetation. Our results indicate that the recovery was at least partially related to the magnitude of the impact such that greater recovery occurred at sites that had greater impact. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Oil Spills) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
On the Sediment Dynamics in a Tidally Energetic Channel: The Inner Sound, Northern Scotland
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2016, 4(2), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse4020031 - 08 Apr 2016
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2040
Abstract
Sediment banks within a fast-flowing tidal channel, the Inner Sound in the Pentland Firth, were mapped using multi-frequency side-scan sonar. This novel technique provides a new tool for seabed sediment and benthic habitat mapping. The sonar data are supplemented by sediment grab and [...] Read more.
Sediment banks within a fast-flowing tidal channel, the Inner Sound in the Pentland Firth, were mapped using multi-frequency side-scan sonar. This novel technique provides a new tool for seabed sediment and benthic habitat mapping. The sonar data are supplemented by sediment grab and ROV videos. The combined data provide detailed maps of persistent sand and shell banks present in the Sound despite the high energy environment. Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) data and numerical model predictions were used to understand the hydrodynamics of the system. By combining the hydrodynamics and sediment distribution data, we explain the sediment dynamics in the area. Sediment particle shape and density, coupled with persistent features of the hydrodynamics, are the key factors in the distribution of sediment within the channel. Implications for tidal energy development planned for the Sound are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underwater Acoustics and the Ocean Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessing Embayed Equilibrium State, Beach Rotation and Environmental Forcing Influences; Tenby Southwest Wales, UK
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2016, 4(2), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse4020030 - 08 Apr 2016
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1695
Abstract
The morphological change of a headland bay beach—Tenby, West Wales, UK—was analysed over a 73-year period (1941–2014). Geo-referenced aerial photographs were used to extract shoreline positions which were subsequently compared with wave models based on storm event data. From the 1941 baseline, results [...] Read more.
The morphological change of a headland bay beach—Tenby, West Wales, UK—was analysed over a 73-year period (1941–2014). Geo-referenced aerial photographs were used to extract shoreline positions which were subsequently compared with wave models based on storm event data. From the 1941 baseline, results showed shoreline change rates reduced over time with regression models enabling a prediction of shoreline equilibrium circa 2061. Further temporal analyses showed southern and central sector erosion and northern accretion, while models identified long-term plan-form rotation, i.e., a negative phase relationship between beach extremities and a change from negative to positive correlation within the more stable central sector. Models were then used in conjunction with an empirical 2nd order polynomial equation to predict the 2061 longshore equilibrium shoreline position under current environmental conditions. Results agreed with previous regional research which showed that dominant south and southwesterly wave regimes influence south to north longshore drift with counter drift generated by less dominant easterly regimes. The equilibrium shoreline was also used to underpin flood and inundation assessments, identifying areas at risk and strategies to increase resilience. UK shoreline management plans evaluate coastal vulnerability based upon temporal epochs of 20, 50 and 100 years. Therefore, this research evaluating datasets spanning 73 years has demonstrated the effectiveness of linear regression in integrating temporal and spatial consequences of sea level rise and storms. The developed models can be used to predict future shoreline positions aligned with shoreline management plan epochs and inform embayed beach shoreline assessments at local, regional and international scales, by identifying locations of vulnerability and enabling the development of management strategies to improve resilience under scenarios of sea level rise and climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coastal Morphodynamics) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
On Peak Mooring Loads and the Influence of Environmental Conditions for Marine Energy Converters
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2016, 4(2), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse4020029 - 08 Apr 2016
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2286
Abstract
Mooring systems are among the most critical sub-systems for floating marine energy converters (MEC). In particular, the occurrence of peak mooring loads on MEC mooring systems must be carefully evaluated in order to ensure a robust and efficient mooring design. This understanding can [...] Read more.
Mooring systems are among the most critical sub-systems for floating marine energy converters (MEC). In particular, the occurrence of peak mooring loads on MEC mooring systems must be carefully evaluated in order to ensure a robust and efficient mooring design. This understanding can be gained through long-term field test measurement campaigns, providing mooring and environmental data for a wide range of conditions. This paper draws on mooring tensions and environmental conditions that have been recorded (1) for several months during the demonstration of an MEC device and (2) over a period of 18 months at a mooring test facility. Both systems were installed in a shallow water depth (45 m and 30 m, respectively) using compliant multi-leg catenary mooring systems. A methodology has been developed to detect peak mooring loads and to relate them to the associated sea states for further investigation. Results indicate that peak mooring loads did not occur for the sea states on the external contour line of the measured sea states, but for the sea states inside the scatter diagram. This result is attributed to the short-term variability associated with the maximum mooring load for the given sea state parameters. During the identified sea states, MEC devices may not be in survival mode, and thus, the power take-off (PTO) and ancillary systems may be prone to damage. In addition, repeated high peak loads will significantly contribute to mooring line fatigue. Consequently, considering sea states inside the scatter diagram during the MEC mooring design potentially yields a more cost-effective mooring system. As such, the presented methodology contributes to the continuous development of specific MEC mooring systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ocean Wave Energy Conversion)
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