30th Sep, 2008

Autumn bloom continues

Here’s a quick update on my post last week. The stratification in the Western Channel has continued to break down, indicated by the stratification surface front receding towards the shelf. The resulting increase in nutrients (and fine weather) has established a larger bloom, probably the dinoflagellate Karenia mikimotoi (can anyone confirm?) though only in moderate concentration. This type of bloom occurs here most years, though normally earlier – in August rather than late September: is this due to the lousy summer?

Aqua-MODIS chlorophyll-a (OC5) on 27 Sep. 2008 1305 UTC

 
Near true-colour scene on 27 Sep. 2008 1305 UTC, darker green indicates higher chl-a, brighter water indicates suspended sediment

Near true-colour scene on 27 Sep. 2008 1305 UTC, darker green indicates higher chl-a, brighter water indicates suspended sediment

Responses

Only just seen these images, thanks Pete, they’re good ones. The Autumn bloom is a secret love of mine. It only happens in the right conditions of light and mixing (which would also produce blooms from storm events and eddies); and was what first introduced me into the world of modelling… I would guess the rain and dull summmer would have slowed the breakdown of stratification, which would be why it happened later this year. This could be checked with TS data?

These images of the Autumn bloom generated a fair amount of publicity at the time (7-8 Oct. 2008):
The Times; Western Morning News; BBC TV Spotlight News; BBC Radio Devon and Wales; NERC PlanetEarth Online.
See the full list.
 

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