Sargasso Sea

 

Water in the ocean is constantly moving – cold dense water from the poles sinks and migrates towards the equator as warm water from the equator flows towards the poles. Global winds patterns, gravity and the rotation of the Earth all play a role in how water moves in the surface ocean. The area that we are currently sampling in is part of the North Atlantic subtropical gyre or Sargasso Sea. Four currents surrounding the gyre move water in a clockwise circular direction creating a giant pool that is 2000 miles long and 700 miles wide. Sargassum, a brown floating seaweed, collects within the calm interior of the gyre which is why it is called the Sargasso Sea. Sargassum provides food and shelter for juvenile fish species and is an important habitat for many marine organisms.

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