Spring 2009 Update: Fall Chlorophyll Distribution

The progression of fall chlorophyll a concentrations during the months of July through December are shown in the left hand set of panels. Higher chlorophyll a concentrations appear as warm shades whereas 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. The anomalies highlight strong blooms in an area (i.e., the green shades) as well as significantly below-average concentrations (i.e., the brown shades). Given the provisional nature of these data, it would be imprudent to make definitive inferences on the intensity of regional bloom activity on the shelf. However, the only exceptional phytoplankton bloom appeared to be localized in the Middle Atlantic Bight during August and September. It is likely that this bloom contributed to the apparent early onset of fall bloom activity. In most other areas of the Shelf, phytoplankton bloom levels were near the long-term mean.

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