Fall 2010 Update: Spring Chlorophyll Distributions

The progression of spring chlorophyll concentrations for the months of January through June 2010 are shown in the left hand set of panels. Higher chlorophyll concentrations appear as warm shades; low concentrations appear as cool shades. The right hand set of panels show exceptional anomalies of chlorophyll concentration - those tending to exceed plus or minus one quarter of a standard deviation of the overall concentration for the field. This type of anomaly highlights both strong blooms (the green shades) and weak blooms (the brown shades). The exceptional spring phytoplankton bloom in the contiguous region of Massachusetts Bay and Nantucket Shoals observed in recent years did not occur in 2010. In 2010, the shelf phytoplankton biomass was about average through March, and slightly above average in April. After the spring bloom, phytoplankton biomass was average or below.

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