Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Stephanie Henson
Post-docturate Researcher
School of Marine Science, University of Maine

Physical forcing and phytoplankton reponse in the Northwest Pacific

Wednesday – March 7, 2007
Pacific Forum – 3:00 p.m.

The biological productivity of the Northwest Pacific coastal region is heavily influenced by physical forcing. I’ll discuss different aspects of variability in chlorophyll concentrations, and how it relates to environmental conditions in the California Current System (CCS) and Coastal Gulf of Alaska (CGOA). Firstly, I’ll focus on the timing of the start of the spring bloom, and introduce an objective method for estimating it from SeaWiFS chlorophyll data. The physical conditions necessary for a bloom to begin are investigated. The timing of the bloom is determined by wind forcing in the southern CCS, and by alleviation of light limitation and the onset of stratification in the northern CCS and CGOA. In the second part of the talk, I’ll discuss how we can quantify mesoscale variability in the CCS. I’ll demonstrate the method of wavelet analysis and discuss how the interannual and latitudinal distribution of chlorophyll variance is related to variability in the physical environment.


Next: Sevengill sharks (Notorhynchus cepedianus) in Willapa Bay, a large Pacific Coast estuary