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Ocean dye to help Rutgers scientists trace Hudson River's path miles into the Atlantic

NEW BRUNSWICK/PISCATAWAY, N.J. Shipboard marine scientists from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, will release a nontoxic red dye into the Atlantic Ocean off New Jersey during the week of May 2 to help reveal the contents and fate of Hudson River water after it joins the Atlantic.

The dye release is the first of three experiments in Rutgers' ongoing study of the Hudson River Plume the mix of river water and substances that flow into the ocean at a rate of 500 billion gallons per day. Preliminary studies indicate that the plume tends to sweep southward along the New Jersey coast.

The exact location and time of the dye release will be determined by the position of the plume and other conditions. Robert J. Chant, professor of physical oceanography with Rutgers' Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences (IMCS), said he hopes to release the dye sometime Sunday or Monday in an area a few miles southeast of Sandy Hook.

The dye initially will be visible on the ocean as a red patch, perhaps a mile or more long, Chant said. "It will then disperse and gradually become invisible to the human eye, but remain detectable by our sensors. Essentially we're tagging a piece of the ocean and following it."

Chant and a crew of fellow oceanographers plan to follow the flow of the dye on a research vessel for about five days, and possibly 100 or miles more. Throughout the voyage, they will be testing the water to increase their knowledge about where the plume goes and what it contains.

A live streaming video and audio feed of experiment activities and scientists' commentary during the cruise will available online at http://marine.rutgers.edu/cool/latte. IMCS will take aerial photos of the dye patch and then post and later archive the images online.

The five-year study, called the Lagrangian Transport and Transformation Experiment (LaTTE), also involves the ongoing use of unmanned submarines, satellites, coastal radar and other t
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Contact: Joseph Blumberg
blumberg@ur.rutgers.edu
732-932-7084 x652
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey
27-Apr-2004


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