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Dynamics of the transition zone in coastal zone color scanner-sensed ocean color in the North Pacific during oceanographic springA transition zone in phytoplankton concentration running across the North Pacific basin at 30 deg to 40 deg north latitude corresponds to a basin-wide front in surface chlorophyll observed in a composite of coastal zone color scanner (CZCS) images for May, June, and July 1979-1986. This transition zone with low chlorophyll to the south and higher chlorophyll to the north can be simulated by a simple model of the concentration of phytoplankton, zooplankton, and dissolved nutrient (nitrate) in the surface mixed layer of the ocean applied to the North Pacific basin for the climatological conditions during oceanographic springtime (May, June, and July). The model is initialized with a 1 deg x 1 deg gridded estimate of wintertime (February, March, and April) mixed layer nitrate concentrations calculated from an extensive nutrient database and a similarly gridded mixed layer depth data set. Comparison of model predictions with CZCS data provides a means of evaluating the dynamics of the transition zone. We conclude that in the North Pacific, away from major boundary currents and coastal upwelling zones, wintertime vertical mixing determines the total nutrient available to the plankton ecosystem in the spring. The transition zone seen in basin-scale CZCS images is a reflection of the geographic variation in the wintertime mixed layer depth and the nitracline, leading to a latitudinal gradient in phytoplankton chlorophyll.
Document ID
19950029622
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
External Source(s)
Authors
Glover, David M. (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA United States)
Wroblewski, J. S. (Newfoundland Memorial Univ. St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada)
Mcclain, Charles R. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Date Acquired
August 16, 2013
Publication Date
April 15, 1994
Publication Information
Publication: Journal of Geophysical Research
Volume: 99
Issue: C4
ISSN: 0148-0227
Subject Category
OCEANOGRAPHY
Funding Number(s)
CONTRACT_GRANT: NAGW-1314
CONTRACT_GRANT: OCE-8701461
CONTRACT_GRANT: OCE-8811375
CONTRACT_GRANT: NAGW-2431
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other