The impact of advective transport by the South Indian Ocean Countercurrent on the madagascar plankton bloom

F. Huhn, A. Von Kameke, V. Pérez-Muñuzuri, M. J. Olascoaga, F. J. Beron-Vera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

Based on ten years (1998-2007) of satellite ocean color data we analyze the spatiotemporal patterns in the seasonal Madagascar plankton bloom with respect to the advection of the recently discovered Southern Indian Ocean Countercurrent (SICC). In maps of Finite-time Lyapunov Exponents (FTLE) and Finite-Time Zonal Drift (FTZD) computed from altimetry derived velocities we observe a narrow zonal jet that starts at ∼25°S at the southern tip of Madagascar, an important upwelling region, and extends to the east further than the largest plankton blooms (∼2500 km). In bloom years, the jet coincides with large parts of the northern boundary of the plankton bloom, acting as a barrier to meridional transport. Our findings suggest that advection is an important and so far underestimated mechanism for the eastward propagation and the extent of the plankton bloom. This supports the hypothesis of a single nutrient source south of Madagascar.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL06602
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume39
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 28 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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