Satellite chlorophyll-a annual bloom characterization in Northeast Brazil, western tropical Atlantic

Publicado en Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering, v. 9261

Kampel, M., Rudorff, N.M., Dall-Cortivo, F., Freitas, L.B. and Valerio, L.P.

Año de publicación 2014

Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espacias (Brazil)



Proyecto CRN3094


Time series of satellite-derived sea surface chlorophyll concentration (SSC) from 2002 to 2012 were used to investigate the phenology of phytoplankton bloom in the Sergipe-Alagoas Basin, located in Northeast Brazil, Western Tropical Atlantic. The seasonal phytoplankton cycle is the dominant mode of temporal variability. The use of a Gaussian function to fit the temporal variability of SSC allowed the characterization of the timing and magnitude of the annual phytoplankton bloom in the slope and continental shelf areas. Modeled SSC showed a few differences in relation to mean MODIS-derived temporal curves. The maximum error was 0.14 mg.m-3 in September on the shelf and 0.006 mg.m- 3 in February on the slope. In both areas, SSC data showed that the maximum surface bloom occurs in June, having initiated in March. This cycle is typical of tropical waters of low latitudes where bloom is initiated at lower vertical stability of the water column allowing nutrients from deeper layers to fertilize usually poor and warm waters of the mixed layer. High rainfall increases the continental drainage into the shelf in autumn-winter, which may affect the timing of bloom. However, the flow regulation of the most important river in the region (Sao Francisco River) decreases the potential impact of river inflow in the coastal region. As the shelf and slope showed very similar patterns, it is likely that the processes of wind mixing and water heating/cooling are the most determining factors for the annual cycle of phytoplankton bloom in this region.