Chlorophyll enhancement in the central region of the Bay of Biscay as a result of internal tidal wave interaction

Muacho, S, da Silva, JCB, Brotas, V, Oliveira, PB and Magalhaes, JM 2014 Chlorophyll enhancement in the central region of the Bay of Biscay as a result of internal tidal wave interaction. Journal of Marine Systems, 136. 22-30.

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A multi-sensor satellite approach based on ocean colour, sunglint and Synthetic Aperture Radar imagery is used to study the impact of interacting internal tidal (IT) waves on near-surface chlorophyll-a distribution, in the central Bay of Biscay. Satellite imagery was initially used to characterize the internal solitary wave (ISW) field in the study area, where the “local generation mechanism” was found to be associated with two distinct regions of enhanced barotropic tidal forcing. IT beams formed at the French shelf-break, and generated from critical bathymetry in the vicinities of one of these regions, were found to be consistent with “locally generated” ISWs. Representative case studies illustrate the existence of two different axes of IT propagation originating from the French shelf-break, which intersect close to 46°N, − 7°E, where strong IT interaction has been previously identified. Evidence of constructive interference between large IT waves is then presented and shown to be consistent with enhanced levels of chlorophyll-a concentration detected by means of ocean colour satellite sensors. Finally, the results obtained from satellite climatological mean chlorophyll-a concentration from late summer (i.e. September, when ITs and ISWs can meet ideal propagation conditions) suggest that elevated IT activity plays a significant role in phytoplankton vertical distribution, and therefore influences the late summer ecology in the central Bay of Biscay.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Additional Keywords: Internal waves; SAR; MODIS; Chlorophyll concentrations; Bay of Biscay
Subjects: Ecology and Environment
Marine Sciences
Divisions: Plymouth Marine Laboratory > Science Areas > Sea from Space (expired)
Depositing User: Mrs Julia Crocker
Date made live: 30 May 2014 10:00
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2017 16:11

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