Utilize este identificador para referenciar este registo: http://hdl.handle.net/10400.3/3077
Título: Climatic patterns and physical controls of chlorophyll-a in the Northeast Atlantic
Autor: Valente, André dos Santos Franca Gaspar
Orientador: Juliano, Manuela F. (Maria Manuela Fraga)
Azevedo, Eduardo Manuel Vieira de Brito
Palavras-chave: Climatologia
Variabilidade Climática
Atlântico Nordeste
Climate Variability
Northeast Atlantic
Data de Defesa: 17-Dez-2013
Citação: Valente, André dos Santos França Gaspar. "Climatic patterns and physical controls of chlorophyll-a in the Northeast Atlantic". 2013. [9], 112 p.. (Tese de Doutoramento em Física). Angra do Heroísmo: Universidade dos Açores, 2013.
Resumo: Chlorophyll-a concentration is one of the most commonly used indicators of phytoplankton biomass, the basis of the marine food chain. Patterns of chlorophyll-a can be driven by many environmental factors, such has meteorological and oceanographic processes that regulate the available light and nutrients for phytoplankton growth. The identification of physical mechanisms responsible for observed chlorophyll-a patterns is key to predict and understand the effect of climate on phytoplankton. Satellite data, with their unprecedented spatial and temporal coverage, provides an unique source of observations to elucidate on these physical-biological interactions. This study describes the distribution and variability of chlorophyll-a in the Northeast Atlantic using satellite images of ocean colour and identifies underlying physical mechanisms using complementary satellite, in-situ and model data. Long-term changes in oceanographic properties were firstly analyzed for a better understanding of chorophyll-a variability. Simultaneous reductions in the southward flow and increases in temperature in the upper ocean (0-500 m) were observed in the eastern basin. These results support the hypothesis that the colder and fresher waters of the early 1990's were replaced by warmer and more saline waters after 2000, as a result, at least partially, of stronger subtropical inflows. Positive (and weak negative) wind stress curl was related to the reduction of southward flow providing a link between large-scale changes in atmospheric patterns and the observed warming. After the severe winter of 2009/2010, surface temperature (0-300 m) dropped to the values of 1998-2000, possibly due to an exceptional deep winter mixing. Regarding the distribution of satellite-derived chlorophyll concentration (SCHL), it was found that the climatological annual pattern was remarkably similar to the nutrient pattern resulting from the combination of the subsurface nutrient field and the mixed layer depth (MLD) field. This suggests that the supply of nutrients during winter has a control over annual SCHL in the region and that this nutrient supply is regulated not only by the depth of winter mixing, but also by the subsurface nutrient field, which in turn is related to ocean circulation and lower in subtropical waters. The seasonal variability of SCHL was different in each group of Azores islands. During winter, a gradual increase of SCHL related to shallower MLD (< 150 m) was typically observed in the Central and Eastern Groups, while a decrease of SCHL related to deeper MLD (> 200 m) was observed in the Western Group. In spring, stronger late blooms were observed in the Western Group, possibly associated with the deep mixing. In the Eastern Group weaker spring blooms could be attributed to lower winter nutrient supply as a result of shallower MLD, but also to a reduced subsurface nutrient content due to its proximity to the Azores Front. The timing of the seasonal SCHL increase in autumn followed heat losses from the ocean, which indicates surface cooling and the start of convective mixing. Inversely, the timing of SCHL increases in winter and spring occurred during oceanic heat gain, which indicates surface warming and reductions in turbulence. Regarding interannual variability of spring bloom magnitude, a decreasing trend was observed between 1998 and 2009 in the eastern basin. Although west of Azores, stronger winter mixing was related to increased spring bloom magnitude, to the east there was no clear relation. One possible explanation is that subtropical inflows after 2000, changed the subsurface nutrient content in the eastern basin during the period of SCHL observation and caused different biological responses to winter mixing. Finally, SCHL around the islands was slightly higher than surrounding areas, which provides evidence that the Azores islands produce an island-mass effect throughout the year. This study provides observational evidence of the effect of vertical mixing and horizontal transport on the patterns of chlorophyll-a in the Northeast Atlantic. These results illustrate direct routes between climate and the basis of the marine food chain, contributing to the understanding of the transition region between the subtropical and subpolar biomes, and the physical-biological coupling in the ocean.
Descrição: Tese de Doutoramento, Física, 17 de Dezembro de 2013, Universidade dos Açores.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10400.3/3077
Designação: Doutoramento em Física
Aparece nas colecções:DCA - Teses de Doutoramento / Doctoral Thesis

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