Henson, Stephanie A., Robinson, Ian, Allen, John T. and Waniek, Joanna J.
Effect of meteorological conditions on interannual variability in timing and magnitude of the spring bloom in the Irminger Basin, North Atlantic
Deep-Sea Research I, 53, (10), . (doi:10.1016/j.dsr.2006.07.009).
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Interannual variability in the spring bloom in the Irminger Basin, northern North Atlantic, is investigated using SeaWiFS-derived chlorophyll-a (chl-a) concentration and satellite or model-derived meteorological data. Variability in the timing and magnitude of the spring bloom in the basin is evaluated. A method for estimating a time series of Sverdrup's critical depth from satellite-derived data is introduced. Comparison with modelled mixed layer depth and chlorophyll concentration demonstrates that Sverdrup's critical depth model is valid for the Irminger Basin spring bloom. The dependence of the timing and magnitude of the spring bloom on winter pre-conditioning is investigated. We find that in the Irminger Basin the start of the spring bloom can be estimated from the preceding winter's mean wind speed and net heat flux. We also find that the maximum chl-a concentration during the bloom can be estimated from the frequency of winter storms. Increased storm activity results in a reduced bloom chlorophyll maximum by delaying the development of spring stratification, resulting in the bloom missing the ‘window of opportunity’ for optimum phytoplankton growth.
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