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Open Access Publications from the University of California

SeaWiFS satellite ocean color data from the Southern Ocean

  • Author(s): Moore, J. Keith
  • Abbott, Mark R
  • Richman, James G
  • Smith, Walker O
  • Cowles, Timothy J
  • Coale, Kenneth H
  • Gardner, Wilford D
  • Barber, Richard T
  • et al.

SeaWiFS estimates of surface chlorophyll concentrations are reported for the region of the U.S. JGOFS study in the Southern Ocean (∼ 170°W, 60°S). Elevated chlorophyll was observed at the Southern Ocean fronts, near the edge of the seasonal ice sheet, and above the Pacific-Antarctic Ridge. The elevated chlorophyll levels associated with the Pacific-Antarctic Ridge are surprising since even the crest of the ridge is at depths > 2000 m. This elevated phytoplankton biomass is likely the result of mesoscale physical-biological interactions where the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) encounters the ridge. Four cruises surveyed this region between October 1997 and March 1998, as part of the U.S. JGOFS. Satellite-derived chlorophyll concentrations were compared with in situ extracted chlorophyll measurements from these cruises. There was good agreement (r² of 0.72, from a linear regression of shipboard vs. satellite chlorophyll), although SeaWiFS underestimated chlorophyll concentrations relative to the ship data.

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