Nitrogen sources for new production in the NE Arabian Sea

Gandhi, Naveen ; Ramesh, R. ; Prakash, S. ; Kumar, S. (2011) Nitrogen sources for new production in the NE Arabian Sea Journal of Sea Research, 65 (2). pp. 265-274. ISSN 1385-1101

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New productivity measurements using the 15N tracer technique were conducted in the north-eastern (NE) Arabian Sea during six expeditions from 2003 to 2007, mostly in winter. Our results indicate that the NE Arabian Sea has a potential for higher new productivity during blooms. Nitrate uptake by plankton is the highest during late winter. New productivity and f-ratios in the NE Arabian Sea are mainly controlled by hydrodynamic and meteorological parameters such as wind strength, sea surface temperature (SST), mixed layer depth (MLD) and mixed layer nitrate. Deepening of the mixed layer supplies nitrate from below, which supports the observed nitrogen uptake. Higher f-ratios during blooms indicate the strong coupling between surface layers and sub-surface layers. Deepening of mixed layer below 100 m (from its inter-monsoon value between 30 and 40 m) transferred often more than 100 mmol N-NO3m−2 into the surface layers from below. The observed winter blooms in the region are supported by such input and are sustained for more than a month. Higher new productivity has been found in late winter, whereas transport of nitrate is maximum in early winter. In general, new production varies progressively during winter. Diurnal cycling of the mixed layer could be the reason for the under utilization of entrained nitrate during early winter. New productivity values and wind strength show significant differences during Feb-Mar 03 and Feb-Mar 04. These differences indicate that the winter cooling and parameters related the biological productivity also vary inter-annually. However, the difference between the new productivity values between Feb-Mar 03 and Feb-Mar 04 is much lower than the difference between Jan 03 and Feb-Mar 03. The results suggest that amplitude of seasonal variation is higher than the inter-annual variation in the region. During spring, Fickian diffusive fluxes of nitrate into the surface layer range from 0.51 to 1.38 mmol N-NO3 m−2day−1, and can account for 67% and 78% of the observed nitrogen uptake in the coastal and open ocean regions, respectively. We document the intra-seasonal and inter-annual variations in new productivity during winter and identify sources of nitrate which support the observed productivity during spring.

Item Type:Article
Source:Copyright of this article belongs to Elsevier Science.
Keywords:Arabian Sea; Winter Mixing; Nitrate; New Productivity; f-ratio; Diffusive Flux
ID Code:70247
Deposited On:23 Nov 2011 06:37
Last Modified:23 Nov 2011 06:37

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