20 Sep 2023
 | 20 Sep 2023
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Biophysical coupling of seasonal chlorophyll-a bloom variations and phytoplankton assemblages across the Peninsula Front in the Bransfield Strait

Marta Veny, Borja Aguiar-González, Ángeles Marrero-Díaz, Tania Pereira-Vázquez, and Ángel Rodríguez-Santana

Abstract. This study investigates the spatio-temporal variations of the chl-a blooms in the Bransfield Strait (BS) at a climatological scale (1998–2018). We propose that a suitable monitoring of these blooms can be achieved through remotely-sensed observations only if the Bransfield Strait is divided following the Peninsula Front, which ultimately influence the phytoplankton assemblage. Our analysis is based on characterizing climatological fields of Sea Surface Temperature (SST), air temperature, Sea-Ice Coverage (SIC), chl-a concentrations and wind stress, guided by synoptic novel and historical in situ observations which reveal two niches for phytoplankton assemblage: the Transitional Bellingshausen Water (TBW) and Transitional Weddell Water (TWW) pools. The TBW pool features stratified, less saline, warmer waters with shallow mixed layers, while the TWW pool features well-mixed, colder, and saltier waters. We identify that the 0.6 ºC isotherm corresponds to the climatological Peninsula Front location, effectively dividing the Bransfield Strait in two different scenarios. Furthermore, the 0.5 mg m−3 chl-a isoline aligns well with the 0.6 ºC isotherm, serving as a threshold for chl-a blooms of highest concentrations around the South Shetland Islands. These thresholds enable for the first time the monthly climatological description of the two blooms developing in BS at both sides of the Peninsula Front. We think this approach underscores the potential of combining SST and chl-a data to monitor the year-to-year interplay of the chl-a blooms occurring in the TBW and TWW pools contoured by the Peninsula Front.

Marta Veny et al.

Status: open (until 10 Dec 2023)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2051', Anonymous Referee #1, 03 Nov 2023 reply
    • CC1: 'Reply on RC1', Marta Veny, 03 Nov 2023 reply

Marta Veny et al.

Marta Veny et al.


Total article views: 360 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)
HTML PDF XML Total BibTeX EndNote
284 61 15 360 8 6
  • HTML: 284
  • PDF: 61
  • XML: 15
  • Total: 360
  • BibTeX: 8
  • EndNote: 6
Views and downloads (calculated since 20 Sep 2023)
Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 20 Sep 2023)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 341 (including HTML, PDF, and XML) Thereof 341 with geography defined and 0 with unknown origin.
Country # Views %
  • 1
Latest update: 01 Dec 2023
Short summary
This study examines the seasonal patterns of chlorophyll-a (chl-a) blooms in the Bransfield Strait using remote sensing data supported by novel and historical in situ observations. Through satellite data we show that we can identify two distinct phytoplankton niches along a thermal front known as the Peninsula Front: the Transitional Bellingshausen Water and Transitional Weddell Water pools. These findings enable the first climatological description of the chl-a blooms in the Bransfield Strait.