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Article

Phytoplankton Biomass and the Hydrodynamic Regime in NEOM, Red Sea

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Earth Science and Engineering (ErSE), King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal 23955, Saudi Arabia
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Department of Biology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, 15772 Athens, Greece
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Centre for Geography and Environmental Science, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, Penryn Campus, University of Exeter, Cornwall TR10 9EZ, UK
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Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR), 11527 Athens, Greece
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Earth Observation Science (EOS), Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML), Plymouth PL1 3DH, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: SeungHyun Son
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(11), 2082; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13112082
Received: 8 April 2021 / Revised: 13 May 2021 / Accepted: 20 May 2021 / Published: 25 May 2021
NEOM (short for Neo-Mustaqbal) is a $500 billion coastal city megaproject, currently under construction in the northwestern part of the Red Sea, off the coast of Tabuk province in Saudi Arabia, and its success will rely on the preservation of biodiverse marine ecosystems. Monitoring the variability of ecological indicators, such as phytoplankton, in relation to regional environmental conditions, is the foundation for such a goal. We provide a detailed description of the phytoplankton seasonal cycle of surface waters surrounding NEOM using satellite-derived chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) observations, based on a regionally-tuned product of the European Space Agency’s Ocean Colour Climate Change Initiative, at 1 km resolution, from 1997 to 2018. The analysis is also supported with in situ cruise datasets and outputs of a state-of-the-art high-resolution hydrodynamic model. The open waters of NEOM follow the oligotrophic character of the Northern Red Sea (NRS), with a peak during late winter and a minimum during late summer. Coral reef-bound regions, such as Sindala and Sharma, are characterised by higher Chl-a concentrations that peak during late summer. Most of the open waters around NEOM are influenced by the general cyclonic circulation of the NRS and local circulation features, while shallow reef-bound regions are more isolated. Our analysis provides the first description of the phytoplankton seasonality and the oceanographic conditions in NEOM, which may support the development of a regional marine conservation strategy. View Full-Text
Keywords: Northern Red Sea; NEOM; satellite-derived chlorophyll; phytoplankton; ocean colour Northern Red Sea; NEOM; satellite-derived chlorophyll; phytoplankton; ocean colour
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MDPI and ACS Style

Papagiannopoulos, N.; Raitsos, D.E.; Krokos, G.; Gittings, J.A.; Brewin, R.J.W.; Papadopoulos, V.P.; Pavlidou, A.; Selmes, N.; Groom, S.; Hoteit, I. Phytoplankton Biomass and the Hydrodynamic Regime in NEOM, Red Sea. Remote Sens. 2021, 13, 2082. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13112082

AMA Style

Papagiannopoulos N, Raitsos DE, Krokos G, Gittings JA, Brewin RJW, Papadopoulos VP, Pavlidou A, Selmes N, Groom S, Hoteit I. Phytoplankton Biomass and the Hydrodynamic Regime in NEOM, Red Sea. Remote Sensing. 2021; 13(11):2082. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13112082

Chicago/Turabian Style

Papagiannopoulos, Nikolaos, Dionysios E. Raitsos, Georgios Krokos, John A. Gittings, Robert J.W. Brewin, Vassilis P. Papadopoulos, Alexandra Pavlidou, Nick Selmes, Steve Groom, and Ibrahim Hoteit. 2021. "Phytoplankton Biomass and the Hydrodynamic Regime in NEOM, Red Sea" Remote Sensing 13, no. 11: 2082. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13112082

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