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Satellite observations of chlorophyll, phytoplankton biomass, and Ekman pumping in nonlinear mesoscale eddies


Gaube, P and Chelton, DB and Strutton, PG and Behrenfeld, MJ, Satellite observations of chlorophyll, phytoplankton biomass, and Ekman pumping in nonlinear mesoscale eddies, Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 118, (12) pp. 6349-6370. ISSN 2169-9275 (2013) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 American Geophysical Union

DOI: doi:10.1002/2013JC009027


Nonlinear mesoscale eddies can influence biogeochemical cycles in the upper ocean through vertical and horizontal advection of nutrients and marine organisms. The relative importance of these two processes depends on the polarity of an eddy (cyclones versus anticyclones) and the initial biological conditions of the fluid trapped in the core of the eddy at the time of formation. Eddies originating in the eastern South Indian Ocean are unique in that anticyclones, typically associated with downwelling, contain elevated levels of chlorophyll-a, enhanced primary production and phytoplankton communities generally associated with nutrient-replete environments. From analysis of 9 years of concurrent satellite measurements of sea surface height, chlorophyll, phytoplankton carbon, and surface stress, we present observations that suggest eddy-induced Ekman upwelling as a mechanism that is at least partly responsible for sustaining positive phytoplankton anomalies in anticyclones of the South Indian Ocean. The biological response to this eddyinduced Ekman upwelling is evident only during the Austral winter. During the Austral summer, the biological response to eddy-induced Ekman pumping occurs deep in the euphotic zone, beyond the reach of satellite observations of ocean color.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Indian Ocean, eddies, satellite oceanography, phytoplankton
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Biological oceanography
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the earth sciences
UTAS Author:Strutton, PG (Professor Peter Strutton)
ID Code:89513
Year Published:2013
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (CE1101028)
Web of Science® Times Cited:167
Deposited By:IMAS Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2014-03-06
Last Modified:2017-11-30
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