Monsoonal differences in phytoplankton biomass and production in the Indonesian seas: Tracing vertical mixing using temperature

Christopher Kinkade, John Marra, Christopher Langdon, Carol Knudson, A. Gani Ilahude

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations


Measurements made in the Indonesian Seas during the 1994 northwest monsoon (January-February) and the 1993 southeast monsoon (August-September) show up to an order of magnitude increase in average surface chlorophyll a from 0.25 mg m-3 during the northwest monsoon to over 2.5 mg m-3 during the southeast with a strong east west gradient. Carbon assimilation was similar for both seasons in the eastern seas (Banda, Flores and Scram), 1.2 g C m-2 day-1 but dropped by half in the western seas (Sulawesi and Makassar Strait) in February, from 1.2 to 0.5 g C m-2 day-1. Areal chl a decreased in the western seas from 20.2 to 5.5 mg m-2 from the northwest to southeast monsoons. The eastern seas showed an opposite trend, with areal chl a increasing from 20.8 to 55.8 mg m-2 between seasons. The increase in surface and integral euphotic zone phytoplankton biomass in the eastern seas is correlated with cooler sea surface temperatures, suggesting that phytoplankton biomass is proportional to the strength of upwelling and vertical mixing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)581-592
Number of pages12
JournalDeep-Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 1997
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science

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