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Phytoplankton distributions along the shelf break

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 December 2011

P. M. Holligan
Affiliation:
Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, The Laboratory, Citadel Hill, Plymouth PL1 2PB, U.K.
S. B. Groom
Affiliation:
Atmospheric Physics Group, The Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College, London, U.K.
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Synopsis

Ship and satellite studies along the shelf edge to the south west of the British Isles have demonstrated the persistence of relatively high standing crops of phytoplankton during the summer months in a region of strong tidal currents and internal wave activity. Off southwest Ireland there is also evidence that salinity stratification has a significant influence on phytoplankton growth, at least during the spring months. Coastal Zone Color Scanner (CZCS) images for the region to the north and west of Scotland indicate that phytoplankton distributions close to the shelf edge are influenced by mesoscale eddies in the Rockall Trough impinging on the upper slope. Coccolithophore blooms are frequent, and changes in their surface distributions are good indicators of water motion.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Royal Society of Edinburgh 1986

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