Kudela, R. M. Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, 831-775-1620
Chavez, F. P. Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, chfr@mbari.org

 
THE EL NINO ADVANTAGE: BIO-OPTICAL VARIABILITY IN CENTRAL CALIFORNIA OBSERVED IN THE ABSENCE OF A STRONG UPWELLING SIGNAL
 
The introduction of the SeaWiFS ocean color instrument in the autumn of 1997 coincided with the onset of perhaps the largest El Niņo event of the century, providing us with the opportunity to monitor the impact of such events on biological and bio-optical properties in central California. Of particular interest to us was the realization that, in addition to the well-publicized detrimental effects caused by this event, the El Niņo essentially removed the seasonal upwelling signal, which dominates both the physical and biological processes in the region. As a result, it has been possible to study the impact of several phenomena, which are typically lost in the upwelling signal. MBARI instituted a series of cruises along CalCoFI Line 67 to study these responses. We will compare and contrast the results of these cruises for early 1997, before the onset of the El Niņo, with cruises during 1997-1998, in combination with remote sensing data. We will demonstrate the utility of variable fluorescence measurements as an assay of phytoplankton structure and status, and in particular as an index of the f-ratio, and will also highlight the impact of the abnormal runoff that occurred all along the coast during this period.
 
Day: Tuesday, Feb. 2
Time:
Location: Sweeney Center
 
Code: SS43TU0886S