Nutrient variability during El Niño 1997-98 in the California current system off central California
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Nutrient conditions off central California during the 1997–98 El Nin˜o are described. Data were collected on 11 cruises from March 1997 to January 1999 along a hydrographic section off central California, as well as every two weeks at a coastal station in Monterey Bay. Perturbations associated with El Nin˜o are shown as anomalies of thermohaline and nutrient distributions along this section. The anomalies were obtained by subtracting seasonal averages for the period from April 1988 to April 1991 from the 1997–98 observations. The first indications of El Nin˜o conditions (high sea levels) were observed at Monterey between late May and early June 1997, but the coastal nutricline did not begin to deepen until August 1997. It reached maximum depth of 130 dbar in January 1998 at the time that maximum sea level anomalies were observed. During this period: (1) the highest subsurface temperature anomalies coincided with subsurface nutrient anomaly minima at the depth of the pycnocline; (2) southern saline and nutrient-poor waters occupied the upper 80 dbar of the water column along the entire section; and (3) nitrate levels were close to zero in the euphotic zone, collapsing the potential new primary production in the coastal domain. At the end of February 1998, the nutricline shoaled to 40 dbar at the coast although it remained anomalously deep offshore. Higher temperatures and lower nutrient levels were observed for the entire section through August 1998 although in contrast with the previous winter, there was a strong freshening mainly due to an onshore movement of subarctic waters.
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Collins, C.A.; Castro, C.G.; Asanuma, H.; Rago, T.A.; Han, S.-K.; Durazo, R.; Chavez, F.P. (2002);Oceanographic conditions off Central California were monitored by means of a series of 13 hydrographic cruises between February 1997 and January 1999, which measured water properties along an oceanographic section ...
Lynn, Ronald J.; Collins, Curtis A.; Mantyla, Arnold W.; Schwing, Franklin B.; Baumgartner, Tim; Hayward, Thomas L.; Murphree, Tom; Sakuma, Keith M.; Garcia, Joaquin; Hyrenbach, K. David; Shankle, Amy; Tegner, Mia J. (1997);This report, part of a continuing series of annual reports describing oceanographic conditions in the coastal waters of the Californias, emphasizes the 1997-98 period. The coastal waters of the Californias were ...
Chavez, F.P.; Pennington, J.T.; Castro, C.G.; Ryan, J.P.; Michisaki, R.P.; Schlining, B.; Walz, P.; Buck, K.R.; McFadyen, A.; Collins, C.A. (2002);The physical, chemical and biological perturbations in central California waters associated with the strong 1997–1998 El Niño are described and explained on the basis of time series collected from ships, moorings, tide ...