Marine Science Faculty Publications

Patterns of Co-Variability between Physical and Biological Parameters in the Arabian Sea

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The relationship between physical forcing and biological response observed in the Arabian Sea for the years 1978–1986 were examined. Spatial and temporal patterns of variability in a climatological time-series of three possible physical forcing parameters and CZCS-derived phytoplankton pigment concentration during the annual cycle were quantified using single and joint empirical orthogonal function (EOF) and singular-value decomposition (SVD) analyses. Monthly composites of the NASA regional pigment data were interpolated to fill data voids and binned corresponding to the physical flux data. Nearly all the spatial-temporal analyses consistently partitioned a large portion of the variability using only 1 or 2 dominant modes and indicated a lag in the timing of the peak pigment concentration behind the maxima in physical forcing. In all cases, major modes of variability resembled the Southwest Monsoon pattern, with the Northeast Monsoon contributing very little to the total variance and covariance. The Joint EOF and SVD analyses incorporated subtle features surrounding the peak Southwest Monsoon phenomena. Correlation maps of the joint EOF analysis depicted differences in spatial variability of pigment concentration associated with stress and curl, showing areas of curl-driven upwelling distinct from coastal upwelling, with possible off-shore advection of the curl-induced high pigment waters.

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Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, v. 46, issue 8-9, p. 1933-1964