Otis, DB, Carder, KL, English, DC, Ivey, JE (2004). CDOM transport from the Bahamas Banks. CORAL REEFS, 23(1), 152-160.
The transport of colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) between shallow banks and deep basins in the Bahamas was the focus of this study. Hydrographic and CDOM absorption measurements made on the Bahamas Banks and in Exuma Sound during the spring of 1999 and 2000 showed that values of salinity and CDOM absorption at 440 nm were higher on the banks (37.18 psu, 0.06 m(-1)), compared to Exuma Sound (37.04 psu, 0.03 m(-1)). Spatial patterns of CDOM absorption in Exuma Sound revealed that plumes of CDOM-rich water flow into Exuma Sound from the surrounding banks. These patterns were determined using Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) data processed using a Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) algorithm to derive CDOM absorption estimates. These data, along with time-series data collected in a channel between the banks and sound, suggest that bank water rich in CDOM and salinity leaves the banks during ebb tide, whereas sound water, with lower levels of CDOM and salinity, extends onto the banks during flood tide. Because CDOM absorbs ultraviolet radiation, a causal factor of reef organism bleaching, we discuss the meaning of our findings in terms of susceptibility to coral bleaching in the Exuma region.