Date of Award

Fall 2006

Project Type


Program or Major

Earth Sciences - Oceanography

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Douglas C Vandemark


For 135 days, from late autumn 2005 to the mid---spring 2006, continuous measurements of dissolved nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon dioxide in near surface seawater were recorded at the interface between the Great Bay-Piscataqua Estuary and the western Gulf of Maine. These surface measurements were made to investigate air-sea gas fluxes and identify the primary controls over gas dynamics in a macrotidal estuary entryway, the estuary inlet. Wind-parameterized air-sea flux estimations were calculated using published flux models and were evaluated to determine their appropriateness in the estuary inlet. Also, using supporting sea-state measurements from buoys (wind speed and wave height), the effects of severe weather on dissolved gas concentrations were explored, and a determination was made as to the conditions required for air-injected dissolved gas increases. Measuring two non-reactive gases (nitrogen and oxygen) with different solubilities allowed for differentiation of two bubble-mediated processes. It was determined that the dominant bubble-mediated gas transfer in the near shore is bubble exchange and not bubble injection. Finally, we were able to record the effects of the spring bloom on oxygen levels, and compare those levels with oxygen measurements taken in the Gulf.