The Color Signature of the Ensenada Front and Its Seasonal and Interannual Variability

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Using monthly composites of the ocean color sensor Coastal Zone Color Scanner, we generated time series of pigment concentrations for three transects and 22 locations off Baja California and the southern California coast in order to describe the signature of the Ensenada Front and its seasonal and interannual variability. We used averaging maps of pigment concentrations for non-El Niño and El Niño years to compare the differences between those periods. Our results show that the Ensenada Front signature has an M-shape and its spatial and seasonal displacement can be followed using the 0.25 and 0.5 mg m-3 chlorophyll-a concentration isolines. For El Niño years the M-shape is not very clear because of the strong penetration of Subtropical Pacific Waters along Baja California and the California coast, except during April, when upwelling is stronger. Such features were confirmed using SeaWiFS LAC images of chlorophyll-a concentration.

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California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations Reports, v. 43, p. 155-161

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