Phytoplankton Dynamics and Bottom Water Oxygen During a Large Bloom in the Summer of 2011

Oscar Schofield, Scott Glenn, Josh Kohut, John Manderson, Grace Saba, Matt Oliver
TAKE HOME MESSAGE: IOOS WILL IMPROVE WATER QUALITY SAMPLING & MANAGEMENT

The History

1976 Hypoxia event

Large winter run-off resulting in early stratification & a large subsurface phytoplankton bloom that was exported to the sea floor resulting in bottom oxygen depletion, resulted in $550 million dollar loss of shellfish

Causes? Anthropogenic loading from urbanized coastline?

Percent Oxygen Saturation

Hudson Bay

superstaurated undersaturated

Ocean

LATTE April 2005

Salinity

New Jersey Coastal Upwelling
July 6, ’98 - AVHRR July 11, ‘98 - SeaWiFS

19

Temperature oC 20 21 22 24

.1

Chlor-a (mg/m3) .3 .5 1 2 4

40N Recurrent Hypoxia/Anoxia Field Station Field Station

40N

LEO

LEO

39N 75W 74W 75W 74W

39N

The inability of the static sampling lead to the desire of creating an observatory network which is capable of resolving spatial and temporal dynamics in the Mid-Atlantic Ecosystem dynamics climate scale Upwelling hypoxia & Shelf transport & mediated change coastal predictive skill communication with deep sea
SST

CHL

CHL

1996-2001 Local scale observatories
Schofield et al. 2002 Glenn & Schofield et al 2003

2001-2006 Regional scale observatories
Glenn & Schofield et al 2009

2006-2012-2006 Regional scale observatories
Schofield et al 2011

MIDDLE ATLANTIC REGIONAL ASSOCIATION COASTAL OCEAN OBSERVING SYSTEM

1000 km Cape to Cape
NY PA NJ

CT

RI

MA

Cape Cod

10 States

MD

DE

U..

VA

NC
Cape Hatteras
CODAR L-Band X-Band Gliders Nowcast & Forecasts

The Event (August 23 2011)

The Evolution of the Event

upwelling

Hurricane Irene
0

Hurricane Irene
26

depth
temperature 55 0

14 33

depth
salinity

55 0

29 105

depth
55

% oxygen
8/12

date

60 9/07

The 2011 bloom was almost 10X standard monthly chlorophyll concentration

The Cause?

River inputs? Upwelling? Advection?

Hurricane Irene and aftermath

River Output

Large Bloom Observed Variable Upwelling

Year Day

Hurricance Irene

Water Quality - U.S. IOOS as it is designed – A multi-agency activity. Make Observations > Advance the Science > Improve the Forecasts

• U.S. IOOS interactive observatory network allows adaptive sampling of the water quality. • Upwelling drove a large bloom and over time was associated with declines in bottom water oxygen.

• The passage of Hurricane Irene did not terminate the bloom, but did increase the bottom water oxygen.
• U.S. IOOS could help provide improved water quality monitoring now.

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