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Atmospheric Control of Deep Chlorophyll Maximum Development

Instituto Español de Oceanografía. Centro Oceanográfico de Santander, 39004 Santander, Spain
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Geosciences 2019, 9(4), 178; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9040178
Received: 21 January 2019 / Revised: 5 April 2019 / Accepted: 11 April 2019 / Published: 17 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ocean-Atmosphere Interaction)
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Abstract

The evolution of the near-surface phytoplankton bloom towards a Deep Chlorophyll Maximum (DCM) in mid-latitudes and subpolar regions of the global ocean is a well-known biological feature. However, our knowledge about the exact mechanism that determines the end of the bloom and its irreversible evolution towards a DCM is still limited. In this work, combining satellite and in-situ oceanographic data together with reanalysis data, we investigate why and when this transition between the near-surface phytoplankton bloom and the development of a DCM occurs. For this aim, we investigate the links between changes in air-sea heat exchanges, the near-surface signature of phytoplankton bloom, and the water column vertical structure by calculating the mixed layer depth (MLD) and depth of the DCM on hydrographic and chlorophyll profiles. We find that the occurrence of the last convective mixing event (heat loss by the ocean surface) at the end of the spring which is able to reach the base of the MLD and inject new nutrients into the mixed layer marks the end of the near-surface bloom and its transition towards a DCM. Identified in this way, the spring bloom duration and the start of the transition towards a DCM can be systematically and objectively determined, providing sensitive indexes of climate and ecosystem variability. View Full-Text
Keywords: Deep Chlorophyll Maximum (DCM); spring bloom; air-sea fluxes; MLD; hydrography; mid-latitudes; North-Atlantic; SATS Deep Chlorophyll Maximum (DCM); spring bloom; air-sea fluxes; MLD; hydrography; mid-latitudes; North-Atlantic; SATS
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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MDPI and ACS Style

Somavilla, R.; Rodriguez, C.; Lavín, A.; Viloria, A.; Marcos, E.; Cano, D. Atmospheric Control of Deep Chlorophyll Maximum Development. Geosciences 2019, 9, 178.

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