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SeaWIFS satellite ocean color data from the Southern Ocean Public Deposited

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  • SeaWiFS estimates of surface chlorophyll concentrations are reported for the region of the U.S. JGOFS study in the Southern Ocean (∼ 170 °W, 60 °S). Elevated chlorophyll was observed at the Southern Ocean fronts, near the edge of the seasonal ice sheet, and above the Pacific ­Antarctic Ridge. The elevated chlorophyll levels associated with the Pacific-Antarctic Ridge are surprising since even the crest of the ridge is at depths > 2000 m. This elevated phytoplankton biomass is likely the result of mesoscale physical-biological interactions where the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) encounters the ridge. Four cruises surveyed this region between October 1997 and March 1998, as part of the U.S. JGOFS. Satellite-derived chlorophyll concentrations were compared with in situ extracted chlorophyll measurements from these cruises. There was good agreement (r² of 0.72, from a linear regression of shipboard vs. satellite chlorophyll), although Sea WiFS underestimated chlorophyll concentrations relative to the ship data.
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  • Moore, J. K., Abbott, M. R., Richman, J. G. , Smith, W. O., Cowles, T. J., Coale, K. H., Gardner, W. D., and Barber, R. T., 1999, SeaWiFS satellite ocean color data from the Southern Ocean: Geophys. Res. Letters, v. 26, p. 1,465-1,468.
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  • 26
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