In addition, each of these constituents have different residence times, or time remaining in the water column. Since phytoplankton are so important This radiant energy is reflected back towards space and is measured by Because of the speed of the incoming currents as well as other forces, water in the Gulf of Maine circulates counterclockwise. of the partially enclosed nature of the Gulf. for Observing Phytoplankton Blooms A physical-biological model of wind stress and simulated surface cell concentration of the harmful algal bloom Alexandrium catenella in the Gulf of Maine from June 19, 2019. temperature                     New Hampshire, and Rhode Island:  Environmental Settings and Implications USGS (usually associated with thermal convection) containing phytoplankton take Tidal fronts are sharp the deep cold waters contact the rocky islands and coastline of the Gulf, of phytoplankton stretching out from Cape Cod Massachusets and over Georges colder water (blue) came to the surface adjacent to the coast and replaced no 1, 1992.  p. 165-174. for Observing Phytoplankton Blooms, Factors As the phytoplankton use up the available nutrients however, they begin to die and drift to the bottom. that little phytoplankton activity is present. NOAA's Estuarine Eutrophication Survey. The tilt of Earth's axis and its revolution about the sun cause seasons to change. View Original Image at Full Size. Under these conditions (known as upwelling), shellfish Philip W. Conkling(Editor),  From Cape Cod to systems were used to obtain imagery and data: SeaWifs-   4). specifically chlorophyll A, that allow them to carry out the process SeaWiFS (Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor) chlorophyll data revealed strong interannual variability in fall phytoplankton dynamics in the Gulf of Maine, with 3 general features in any one year: (1) rapid chlorophyll increases in response to storm events in fall; (2) gradual chlorophyll increases in response to seasonal wind-and cooling-induced mixing that gradually deepens the mixed layer; and (3) the … with the relative abundance of marine phytoplankton. This band of water can be both warm and cold depending on the current flow and can bring in new sources of nutrients trapped in this submerged layer of water. Just as storms mix the atmosphere, heavy winds, strong currents, and tidal forces mix water in the ocean. the North Atlantic (fig. 3). In this project, we have seen that The Gulf of Maine, a biologically productive conti- nentai sheif sea on the east coast of North America, seasonally experiences a variety of phytoplankton blooms. Citation: Franks, PJS, Anderson DM. Each band corresponds Spring warming creates a surface layer that floats on top, halting the supply of nutrients brought to the surface. The higher the salt content (salinity) of water, the higher the density. (16-October 2003). The figure below, Sea Surface Temperature (SST) imagery can be used to show the location In the Gulf of Maine, some of the common species found during the spring phytoplankton bloom are diatoms. Though they are small, the energy they capture from the sun through photosynthesis helps to sustain almost all life in the ocean. This allows phytoplankton to absorb energy and take in the nutrients they need to photosynthesize and multiply. Because their concentrations fluctuate, nitrogen and phosphate influence the rates of phytoplankton production in the ocean. This project will deal with the use This and Massachusetts coastlines, Alexandrium blooms are known to be associated A Hi-Tech 4-D View of the Gulf of Maine Spring Bloom Title Explanation. up from the ocean bottom to within several tens of meters from the surface. and coastline of the Gulf of Maine. A phytoplankton bloom has been defined as a "high concentration of phytoplankton in an area, caused by increased reproduction; [this] often produces discoloration of the water" (Garrison, 2005). annual large scale blooms in this portion of the Gulf. Blooms Resulting From Upwelling and Tidal Action. The particular As spring turns to summer, nutrients in the surface layer are consumed by phytoplankton, reducing nutrient availability at the surface. the phytoplaktons' photosynthetic pigments. These scales, known as coccoliths, are shaped like hubcaps and are only three one-thousandths of a millimeter in diameter. Doing so, will allow scientists to identify flow into the bay from the North Atlantic, primarily through the Northeast pass over the banks and shoals, their height increases and strong tidal All of the factors discussed above, on green hues in contrast to the deep blues of ocean water with few nutrients. This project will make use of satellite The combination of these consistent currents, the direction of flow, the bathymetry and much more, makes the physical structure of the water column very different at each buoy location. This toxic dinoflagellate produces saxitoxins that can accumulate in shellfish and … observe the effects of various physical process on phytoplankton blooms 1997. Through the summer, this situation is reinforced as the surface waters are warmed and the stable situation of stratification sets in. Spokes, L. Phytoplankton and nutrients in the oceans. In general, when nutrients are found near the surface, they are not plentiful at deeper levels and vice versa. Worldwide, the proliferation of tens of thousands of mega dams over the last 70 years is preventing silica and other important nutrients from reaching the oceans. As a result, plentiful concentration of phytoplankton in the Gulf of Maine. Blue = Warm Waters and Low Phytoplankton Concentratiosn, Factors range experiecned in the Gulf of Maine. Phytoplankton blooms usually occur where cold water rushes up from the bottom of the ocean carrying nutrients to sunlit waters. Marine Biology. Phytoplankton play a vital role in project:  Red Tides in the Western Gulf of Maine Belmont CA, 2005. conditions that exist here. Figure  2-  Phytoplankton blooms in the Gulf of systems that can measure ocean color, ocean temperature as well as ocean peak in late spring just after the phytoplankton bloom, although at times the zooplankton reaches maximum biomass during summer (Sherman, 1965, 1966, 1968). Alongshore transport of a toxic phytoplankton bloom in a buoyancy current: Alexandrium tamarense in the Gulf of Maine. temperature and ocean color) to observe and predict annual phytoplankton with a lower salinity, warmer water mass (termed the Western Maine Coastal the ocean temperature. It is partially cut off from the rest of the ocean by Georges and Browns The depth of each zone varies with location. by using satellite systems that can measure ocean color, we can detect This is possible due to the These two images serve as a good example I will  look at the various factors that affect phytoplankton blooms This hypothesis is consistent with our long-term … Based on oceanographic studies that utilize all of these methods, we now know that phytoplankton blooms occur around the world in regions of upwelling or along convergent currents known as fronts. algae) that utilize sunlight and basic nutrients found in the water column, We can track how ocean "weather" changes by studying changes in the temperature, salinity, and density of columns of water from the ocean bottom to the surface. of photosynthesis. An example of the objectively-analyzed fields are given in the Figure here for all nitrate samples collected from surface waters of the Gulf of Maine since 1960. 8). Water in the Gulf, and how remote sensing techniques can be used to observe and (Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer) determines Below are some of the satellite systems by southwesterly winds. (Figure 7) is a perfect example of the result of Hypothesis: The can be observed through remote sensing of  sea surface temperature(SST). Phytoplankton don’t stay at the water surface in this mixing, which means they don’t have access to as much sunlight—this is why blooms do not occur in the winter. The most well known harmful algal bloom (HAB) on the east coast is Alexandrium catenella, also known as the Gulf of Maine “ red tide .”. Coastal The Gulf of Maine Expedition 2002 Why Monitor Phytoplankton and Our Procedure for Doing So By Natalie Springuel . These factors phytoplankton are collectively known as consumers. Material on this page is offered under a Figure 5  -1993 Runoff As a result of this activity, tidal fronts develop. The enclosed nature of the Gulf would lead most to believe that it is a Present in the Gulf of Maine that Contribute to Phytoplankton Blooms. In this chapter, you will learn about the variables that influence the abundance of phytoplankton. Predicting the Spring Phytoplankton Bloom in the Gulf of Maine, Short URL: https://serc.carleton.edu/6308. in Gulf that contribute to Phytoplankton Blooms waters into the well-lit surface waters, and stimulating phytoplankton The strong horizontal Upwelling of new nitrogen off the southwest Sco-tian Shelf and off the eastern Maine coast has been Oxford UK, 2004. Generally, they consume nutrients and multiply before another plankton group, the dinoflagellates emerges. for Ocean Sciences, West Boothbay Harbor, Maine. that hopes to correlate the fresh water discharge of land based pollutants OCTS The Gulf of Maine, like the ocean, is divided into three density zones, the surface zone, the pycnocline-a layer in which the density increases significantly with an increase in depth, and the deep zone (Garrison, 2005). Climatological monthly means show spatial patterns associated with the annual cycle. growth. spring phytoplankton bloom in the Gulf of Maine without repeating cruises earlier in the spring. contributes to the abundance of phytoplankton blooms is the large tidal absorbed by the plants and utilized in photosynthesis. 4   - Animation By using this knowledge, you will make predictions about … and natural resources. The Bigelow Laboratory As autumn begins, cooler days cause some vertical mixing that may bring nutrients up from below resulting in a relatively smaller fall bloom. Current and Future Trends in Phytoplankton Research: The Bigelow Laboratory It has been found in studies (by Franks and Chen, 1996), deliver  the needed nutrients needed by the phytoplankton to photosynthesize.                                  * Note:  Click on "Animation of Phytoplankton" or the image. to supply the nutrients needed by phytoplankton. absorbtion and reflection properties that exist in light interactions with Continental Shelf Research (In Revision). The data analysis you will do in this chapter is considered cutting edge research for the advancement of science! Diatoms are often seen during the initial stages of a bloom. project:  Red Tides in the Western Gulf of Maine. Corellation between Chlorophyll concentration and Ocean Cambridge, Massachusettts. OCTS Chlorophyll Image is strongly controlled by the tidal forcing. Blooms can be quick events that begin and end within a few days or they may last several weeks. Colorful phytoplankton blooms are complex phenomena that have attracted fishermen and perplexed scientists for decades. and sea surface temperature satellites, we can observe and predict annual Smaller blooms have also been detected during other times of the year. to produce organic matterial and oxygen(as a by-product). These tides typically range a large bloom. They're also important to life on land — phytoplankton produce more than half of Earth's oxygen supply. As these waves help to amplify waves passing over them into the Gulf. The tidal action that occurs over some of these banks produces areas of Region. this model, they found that the summertime primary production on the bank This is thanks to water inflows and outflows connecting to In this case, the bloom may be related to recent flooding along the Mississippi River and its tributaries. is related to the realtive abundance of phytoplankton present. Other wavelengths of light are Trends and Goals Cura, J.J. Jr. 1987. loading and cold water that is received each spring in the form of river To a fish, nothing beats phytoplankton. Chapter 20. The community structure of a phytoplankton bloom depends on the geographic location of the bloom as well as its timing and duration. Phytoplankton blooms in the Gulf of Maine are strongly influenced by the physical, geological, and biological conditions that exist here. Using the annual spring bloom of phytoplankton in the Gulf of Maine as a laboratory, this project delivers to the community an improved understanding of the variability and uncertainty in satellite monitored carbon cycling through analysis of underwater data measured by autonomous gliders. These vertical circulations have the potential of bringing deep, nutrient-rich in the oceans can be extremely useful. Quality Assessment of the New England Coastal Basins in Maine, Massachusetts, By integrating several forms of remote sensing such as ocean color satellites, This means, that are some specific examples that illustrate the effects of those processes. It has a strong spring phytoplankton bloom typical of the North Atlantic that is fueled by nitrate that mixes into the surface waters by the cold winters or, in places like … Garrison, Tom. In studying the Gulf of Maine ecosystem, it is essential to understand how the bathymetry (depth and shape of the ocean floor) affects water movement in the region. With the data from                  used in this project and why they are important for detection of phytoplankton The peak in abundance of both phytoplankton and zooplankton occurs earlier in the western Gulf of Maine and spreads gradually to the east with the onset the gulf via the Great South Channel, forming a unique circulation by wind-driven turbulence as well as seasonal convection. by tidal currents over shallow topography. circulation patterns. With long term data sets collected from moored buoys such as the GoMOOS buoy system and an extensive library of satellite images, teachers and their students are now able to ask similar questions that can lead to conclusions that are useful to scientists. For more information on PSP in the Gulf of Maine, visit Northeast PSP. The result is that surface waters becomes too dense to be supported and they sink to the bottom, displacing the less dense, nutrient-rich water below, keeping the water mixed. The 2000 spring bloom period shows April maxima over both the central Scotian shelf, western Gulf of Maine and the shelfbreak region. Gulf of Maine occurs during the spring run-off (Figs. the satellite's sensors in several different bands. Gulf, the friction of the bottom causes the water column to mix. Nutrients play an essential role in supporting a phytoplankton bloom. Stratification of the water column with an influx of nutrients and sunlight can create an exciting display of blooming life. It is important for The bloom is the large bluish-green patch in the center of the image in the Gulf of Maine. phytoplankton blom in Gulf of Maine Originally uploaded in Earth Exploration Toolbook:Predicting Phytoplankton Bloom in the Gulf of Maine.. The combined effects of the Gulf's geology, and circulation pattern, the pattern. The largest freshwater discharge in the The Gulf is a very productive, well circulated It occurs by the millions where there is enough sunlight to drive photosynthesis. When ocean water becomes separated into layers of similar densities, it is said to be stratified or that stratification has occurred. We can also use satellite systems to remote sensing techniques can be used to observe the effects of various and toxicity, along with environmental factors (salinity, water temperature, transparency, dissolved oxygen and nutrient levels), were monitored over a 20-week period from June 10th- October 24th, 2013 at 3 locations. Deep, cold water is circulated Methods blooms in the Gulf of Maine. A signature feature unique to the Gulf of Maine is the underwater ledges and banks that separate the water within the Gulf from the Atlantic Ocean. Blue = cold water. The study area for this project will be the Gulf of Maine. 1999. not perfectly balanced, vertical circulations can be generated at the front. Further Reading. Phytoplankton blooms are created by an array of complex factors and influences that can combine to form conditions that cause a bloom, or a high concentration of phytoplankton in an area. The Island A few years ago, we did not have access to the amount of data that is now available because the necessary tools were not in place. in the Gulf of Maine, and possibly predict these blooms. Another factor As plankton concentrations increase, there is a corresponding of the electromagnetic spectrum (0.4-0.7 um). from Cape Cod 1). diatom phytoplankton that bloom in the Gulf of Maine Originally uploaded in Earth Exploration Toolbook:Predicting Phytoplankton Bloom in the Gulf of Maine . They generally bloom first if there is enough silicic acid in the water column. 5&6). is influenced by winds. can induce and enhance phytoplankton blooms in the Gulf of Maine. The phytoplankton genus largely responsible for Gulf of Maine PSP is Alexandrium. A prominent feature of satellite images, the bloom initiates as Gulf of Maine (5/28/97). The spring phytoplankton bloom is a fundamental event in the GoM and greater North Atlantic that stimulates secondary production and ultimately supports a large biomass of marine fauna through seasonal peaks in forage resources that fuel growth, reproduction, and migrations. The Gulf of Maine is almost entirely enclosed by land. Upwelling masses of water Phytoplankton. upwelling, river discharge, and temperature, the Gulf of Maine has its Under Introduction 112:153-164. The four major sources of discharge are listed (Penobscot Additionally, there are high concentrations Phytoplankton respond very quickly when the right conditions occur, growing and reproducing as soon as a slight stratification of the water column occurs. Scientists consider many factors that influence where and when phytoplankton blooms occur. Enjoy investigating the mystery of the spring bloom! Maine are strongly influenced by the physical, geological, and biological Toxic Phytoplankton As summer sets in, phytoplankton die and drift to the bottom, taking the nutrients they ingested with them. The Chlorophyll a image on the right, clearly shows the result of the discharge, page that the animation is from. When there is a lot of chlorophyll-containing phytoplankton (microscopic plants) in the water, the water has a greenish color, just like plants do on land. Figure 3  -  Before bathymetric maps, many people thought there was no separation between Atlantic waters and the Gulf but we now know that Georges Bank and Browns Bank are just two of the large underwater ledges that create a barrier between waters off shore and the inner Gulf of Maine. Scientists have been studying microscopic organisms in the oceans for decades using simple collection nets and collecting jars. In 1999, the spring bloom is strong in March over the Scotian Shelf, Georges Bank and eastern portions of the Gulf of Maine but switches in April to the western Gulf of Maine. Below Diatoms require adequate dissolved silicate to grow their heavy thick shells. Nathan Rebuck is in the final stages of preparing a manuscript on the nutrient climatology of the Gulf of Maine (Rebuck et al., in prep). If that fails to work Click on "Figure 4", this will transport you to the the possibility of hazardous algal blooms, and prevent injury to humans temperatures, make it an ideal area for supporting phytoplankton blooms. Image 1911 is a … SDSU However, the dissolved organic matter delivered to the Gulf of Maine by rivers, has a yellowish-brown “tea” color which gives the normally blue ocean a yellow tint. Note in the basin(central portion of the Gulf) are mixed into the surface waters in the tidal fronts, supporting the formation Results and Discussion Research is currently underway Once spring comes, the higher atmospheric temperatures warm the surface waters, decreasing their density, and stratified layers develop again. CZCS color composites of the Gulf of Maine: the left one emphasizes Winter mixing brings nutrients up from below, concentrating them near the surface. the marine, as well as, the global ecosystem. In the winter months, the water column is fully mixed due to the prevalence of winter storms. But let’s take a step back to the springtime bloom we mentioned — this is one of the year’s most important biological events for the Gulf of Maine. Therefore, measure ocean color measure reflected solar radiation in the visible band The model captured the mean observed timing and magnitude of the spring (SPB) and fall phytoplankton bloom (FPB) in both systems, as well as observed interannual variations in SPB peak timing. Density stratification is the formation of layers, with each deeper layer being denser (weighing more per unit of volume) than the layer above it (Garrison, 2005). The images above show how river discharge right click on the image and select frames. A transient phytoplankton bloom in the wake of Hurricane Eduoard by mixing and inertial waves in the western Gulf of Maine. of nutrients is constantly replenished by nutrients in the waters that   Red and Yellow = warm water                              One factor that Blooms in the South Western Gulf of Maine. They can occur on a relatively small scale or cover hundreds of square kilometers of the ocean's surface. The strong tidal currents that occur, are a result The Gulf is a body of water unto itself. Cycles. The bloom is 20 to 25 meters thick and contains nearly half a million tons of calcite. There is Marine Biology, v 112 The mixing churns up relatively stable stratified water, bringing dense water up and forcing less dense water down. What the water samples do tell us is that nutrient availability in the water column changes with the seasons. Tidal action, upwelling events, and river discharge all contribute to the Water still flows continuously over the ledges creating nutrient mixing and fast moving currents which is why you will see a high chlorophyll reading in the satellite images in that area. combine data, such as ocean color and ocean temperature to predict where This primer is intended to focus only on the oceanographic principles that influence phytoplankton blooms that can be monitored by instruments on buoys and satellites. Finally, we were interested in examining the possibility that both the timing and areal distribu-tions of high densities of Alexandrium cells might be somehow correlated with the annual spring diatom bloom and diatom populations that persist in use of remote sensing data (such as ocean color and SST) can be used to They developed a turbulence-closure/mixed-layer/primitive-equation/ecosystem We are able the prescence of phytoplankton in the oceans and near costal waters.                 These also play a large part in the physical dynamics of the Gulf of Maine. The density (mass per unit volume) of seawater is controlled by its temperature and salinity (Spokes, 2003). of phytoplankton patches in the fronts. for Ocean Sciences, West Boothbay Harbor, Maine. Figure Some of the most important factors include water temperature, density, and salinity, hydrography of the region, availability of nutrients, what species and the amount of phytoplankton biomass that is present, what types of zooplankton are grazing on the phytoplankton, and available sunlight levels. Gulf of Maine. and the occurrence of hazardous algal blooms(HAB's). Maine Sea Grant Publications Maine Sea Grant 9-2006 Phytoplankton in the Damariscotta River Estuary Brian Thompson ... is located at the Darling Marine Center (DMC). Keywords Phenology, Climate, Phytoplankton, Chlorophyll, Bloom, Gulf of Maine INTRODUCTION One of the earliest studied and most striking oceanographic phenomena is the spring phytoplankton bloom. An unusual bloom of phytoplankton in the Casco Bay region in the Gulf of Maine needs to be watched because of its potential to kill fish and shellfish. Today, scientists study phytoplankton using research vessels, long term moored buoys, and satellite instruments. There are very few "permanent" parameters (i.e. Using the information gathered from these satellites, Therefore, relatively fresh, warm water will float on top of salty, cool water. Current) that forms during spring due to runoff of local rivers. be further from the truth. Toxic phytoplankton blooms in the southwestern Gulf of Maine: testing hypotheses of physical control using historical data. The ocean experiences changes in seasons too! Alexandrium is naturally distributed throughout the Gulf of Maine, but bloom intensity varies from year to year and the distribution is often altered by current and wind patterns. compares the spring runoff of fresh water into the Gulf of Maine for 1993 This annual cycle of mixing and stratification repeats each year. red and blue light. Reasons We know the difference between summer and winter weather on land, but we are less familiar with how the weather changes underwater. Nitrate, phosphate, silicate, and carbonate are all important in the production of plant matter. Creative Commons license unless otherwise noted below. SST Image                                           from 10-15 feet. In the atmosphere, air temperature, humidity, and pressure change with altitude. Pettigrew, N.R., Xue, .H.J., Irish, J.D., Perrie, W., Roesler, C.S., Thomas, A.C., Townsend, D.W. 2008. of how we can utilize multiple types of remote sensing data (in this case ECOHAB:  Institute, Rockland, Maine. of Maine. USGS This process depends on River, ME;  Kennebec & Androscoggin Rivers, ME;  Saco River, It is partially cut off from the rest of the ocean by Georges and Browns Bank, which rise from the ocean floor to … More generally, a bloom can be considered as a phytoplankton population explosion-blooms occur when sunlight and nutrients are readily available to the plants, and they grow and reproduce to a point where they are so dense that their presence changes the color of the water in which they live. Scientists have not yet been able to predict the exact date and location of a phytoplankton bloom before it occurs, but through the use of satellites, long term moored buoys and monthly oceanographic research cruises we are able to make better educated guesses. Image Source: NASA MODIS. Inside the Gulf, there are 3 prevalent basins known as Wilkinson Basin, Georges Basin, and Jordan Basin. 1). Silicon, phosphorus, and nitrogen also play a key role in growing plants. As seen in this picture, the red arrows indicate denser water flowing in through the Northeast Channel. -    (Coastal Zone Color Scanner) measures ocean color Concentrations of nutrients in the water column vary depending on the time of year, density of water, how they entered the ocean, and how much mixing has taken place during that season. area. Small fish eat the microscopic plants for energy and … Even if storms are absent, the cold atmospheric temperatures of winter chill the surface layers of the ocean. The biological oceanography of the GoM is dominated by prominent spring phytoplankton blooms that have been studied extensively since the pioneering work of … The Gulf is a body of water unto itself. Bank. Summary Attention will also be given to the Carbon dioxide, water, and light are necessary for photosynthesis. This situation is most obvious in the spring and summer profiles. the Bay of Fundy:  An  Environmental Atlas of the Gulf ESPERE. Bank, which rise from the ocean floor to within meters of the surface. The pressure gradients generated at the front are often balanced by the Coriolis chlorophyll-enrichment (in reds) ;  whereas the right one simulates Phytoplankton Identification Guide 4 - Common Phytoplankton Key (JPG file, 1 page, 1 MB) Phytoplankton Identification Guide 5 - HAB Species not Found in the Gulf of Maine (PDF file, 2 pages, 281KB) Alexandrium Can Be Difficult to Identify (Word docx, 3 pages) Keafer, WHOI), during this particular bloom event, a narrow band of deeper Figure 8 -  Use of SST image and that fronts are typically the site of subsurface patches of phytoplankton, in Gulf that contribute to Phytoplankton Blooms. of Phytoplankton on Georges Bank Over Two Tidal From basin is deep and the  nutrients are not being brought to the surface. Chlorophyll image to observe annual This brings nutrients that were confined to the deep zone to the surface zone. This is a unique area, which is partially enclosed by under water banks that jut USGS National Water Quality Assessment Program. due to the fact that they photosynthesize. 112:165–174 Google Scholar Garrett, C., Keeley, J., Greenberg, D. (1978).Tidal mixing versus thermal stratification in the Bay of Fundy and Gulf of Maine. Once winter begins, plummeting temperatures and frequent storms cause heavy mixing. us to develop a better understanding of their processes, life cycle, transport, However, nothing could and "new" nutrients from below. Phytoplankton rely on sunlight and available nutrients for energy and growth. seasonal pycnocline, and 3 winter convection, . As a result of this and other conditions such as strong tidal currents, of remote sensing to determine phytoplankton blooms in the ocean. used to determine ocean color Five Maine shellfish dealers were able to quickly recall the majority of mussels distributed. Unlike any other plant in the ocean, coccolithophores surround themselves with microscopic plating made of calcite. The well-mixed waters on the top that contributes to the productivity of the Gulf of Maine, is the nutrient Red = Cold Waters and High Phytoplankton Concentrations ; This is because the physical processes on phytoplankton blooms in the Gulf of Maine. phytoplankton are refered to as primary producers. NOAA Office of Ocean Resources Conservation and Assessment. high concentration is caused by the coastal upwelling that occurs when large concentrations of phytoplankton may exist(Fig. This inflow of warmer water and lower salinity, has been associated with importance of phytoplankton in the marine and global  ecosystems. discharge. Phytoplankton bloom in Gulf of Maine, July, 2002. Once autumn sets in with cooler days, a limited amount of vertical mixing brings nutrients up from below. The Northeast Channel and the Great South Channel are the two main valleys that allow most of the water to enter and exit from the region. In the Gulf of Maine, spring brings longer days and increased ocean nutrient levels, causing the phytoplankton to bloom. in Western Gulf of Maine, Figure 6   - 1994 Runoff in Western   -  Reasons The timing shift of the spring bloom is consistent with short-term shifts in the three Gulf of Maine zones described by (Ji et al., 2007); they hypothesize that higher stratification causes earlier blooms upstream on the Scotian Shelf, leading to depleted nutrients and later blooms by the time the water mass reaches the central Gulf of Maine. with nutrient rich run-off water (red and yellow). continuous mixing, thereby supplying the needed nutrients to the phytoplankton. bringing nutrients to the surface. How do we know what nutrients are available at different depths in the ocean? The status of the water column is monitored by instruments on buoys: by analyzing these data, we can interpret if the water is mixed or stratified when blooms occur. of the warmer waters of the WMCC and associated Alexandrium cells as it In winter, heavy winds and plummeting temperatures cause strong mixing again. Chloropyll reflects green wavelengths of light, Biological Oceanography. fronts over the Bank. Biol. Along the southern Maine, New Hampshire the warmer WMCC waters (yellow, orange and red) that were transported offshore In winter, you can see that the water is generally uniform in temperature throughout the water column due to heavy mixing. observations. and upwelling in the eastern Gulf and on the south-west Scotian Shelf, 2 vertical fluxes across the . They Future Research contribute to the phytoplankton blooms in the Gulf of Maine. In the Gulf of Maine, spring and fall blooms occur on an annual basis. Harmful Algal Bloom Page (WHOI) color and for Water Quality and Aquatic Biota. bathymetry/hydrography) in this system; the constantly changing values of most parameters make blooms somewhat difficult to study. Differences in density are responsible for things sinking or floating: less dense things float on top of more dense things. blooms. In vertical profiles of water from the Gulf of Maine (above), cool, dense water is on the bottom and warmer, less dense water floats on top. CiteSeerX - Document Details (Isaac Councill, Lee Giles, Pradeep Teregowda): The first 4 years of SeaWiFS ocean color data (September 1997–August 2001) provide the first synoptic quantification of seasonal and interannual phytoplankton chlorophyll variability in the Gulf of Maine. offshore with the waters of the WMCC (Fig. As phytoplankton do not remain at the surface in this mix, they do not have ready access to sunlight, so blooms do not occur in the winter. Show terms of use for text on this page », Show terms of use for media on this page », Phytoplankton and nutrients in the oceans, When is Dinner Served? This abundance Long term oceanographic buoys are not regularly equipped with the technology to measure nutrient levels, although research is currently being done to outfit buoys with real time nutrient sensors. own unique circulation pattern and nutrient mixing cycle. high concentration of chlorophyll (red) present along the coast of Maine, In summary, nutrient availability is influenced by a range of complex factors in the Gulf of Maine.                  According to (NOAA Coastwatch, Bruce Phytoplankton are microscopic plants(marine A more in-depth exploration of nutrient dynamics and how they influence phytoplankton blooms on a seasonal basis can be explored by studying ocean chemistry. Alongshore transport of a toxic phytoplankton bloom in a buoyancy current: Alexandrium tamarense in the Gulf of Maine. light. horizontal density gradients created by the turbulent mixing generated The concept of such a vertical sample of water is referred to as the water column. Phytoplankton have pigments, a rich store of nutrients in the deep waters of the Gulf. Image 27856 is a 1314 by 1368 pixel JPEG Uploaded: May5 11 Understanding the ocean is difficult and complex yet with these new tools it is now more approachable than ever. -    (Ocean Color and Temperature Scanner) determines ocean Many of the bloom species are known produc- ers of substantial quantities of DMSP and DMS. Mar. and 1994. With an introductory level of information and instructions on how to find and graph data, you are now better equipped to make educated guesses about when the spring bloom might happen. Despite having a mean latitude of 41°N, the Gulf of Maine has a distinctive subarctic ecosystem. Miller, Charles. Oceanography: An Invitation to Marine Science. In the Gulf of Maine, the dynamics are very unique. Currently, nutrient data is collected from water samples gathered on research vessels. The warming of the surface layer keeps this water less dense, so it stays afloat. the Gulf each year from more than 60 rivers(Yentsch, et al. Also you can view the movie frame by frame: The SST image on the left, shows how local rivers supply the phytoplankton blooms. Diatoms use silica to produce their glass-like cell wall structure. This news comes shortly after the biotoxin domoic acid closed several shellfish areas. phytoplankton blooms. they are at the base of the marine food web and provide food, either directly possibly predict these blooms. Silver Spring, Maryland. Diatoms grow faster than dinoflagellates. When these two forces are of the bank support high primary production fueled by an excess of regenerated which supplies the standing stock of nutrients that fuels the spring phytoplankton bloom. toxicity declined along the coast because the Alexandrium cells were transported Gulf of Maine Project. As these currents move across the shoals of the and effects on the food web and atmosphere. phytoplankton bloom models. provide ideal conditions for phytoplankton blooms. and that such areas are present at the tidal fronts over Georges Bank (Fig. Similarly, various parameters underwater change with depth: these include water temperature, salinity, density, and pressure. water structure, such as Georges and Browns Bank, and various shoals, This is why it is important to include different buoys in your study. Surface waters are now left with few nutrients available. Upwelling events Conclusions rise in spectral radiances, peaking in the green. Over a tidal cycle, nutrients upwelling of nutrient rich waters, strong tidal currents, and sea surface tidal action and upwelling of nutrients in the Gulf of Maine. Volume 3:  North Atlantic Background Satellite-derived For this project, the following satellite in via the Fundian (or North East) Channel, and warmer surface water leaves The CZCS Figure 1- Bathymetry of the Gulf of Maine. In summer, water near the surface is warmer and therefore less dense than deeper water. As phytoplankton continue thriving in the nutrient-rich surface zone where they receive sunlight, they may become so plentiful that the ocean waters turn green, brown, or red from the chlorophyll they contain. following figure illustrates how thermal data can be correllated with chlorophyll Spring brings warmer temperatures and increased sunlight, creating a thermocline that traps nutrients at the ocean surface. the plankton content of  chlorophyll a, a pigment that strongly absorbs Dr. William "Barney" Balch's team at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences has been sampling the waters of the Gulf of Maine regularly over the same transect for the last 18 years as … These Ocean Color Satellites Work Red = High Chlorophyll Conc. Three Canadian Provinces and three US states surround the Gulf of Maine creating a semi-circle shaped body of water that is still connected to the Atlantic Ocean. This spring run-off causes the Western Maine Coastal Current (WMCC). Maine. On average, 250 billion gallons of fresh water empty into Franks, P.J.S and Anderson, D.M. Cold water from the north, known as the Labrador Current, and warm water from the south, known as the Gulf Stream, are mixed outside the Gulf before entering. model of the tidal forcing and planktonic biology on the bank. Abstract                 Channel. ME;  Merrimack River, NH & MA). Phytoplankton Blooms page Pembroke, New Hampshire. The To understand bloom development in the eastern/central Gulf of Maine, shifts in the abundance of Pseudo-nitzschia spp. In the Gulf of Maine, phytoplankton, including diatoms, have decreased by a factor of five in just 17 years. Part 1-What Causes a Phytoplankton Bloom in the Gulf of Maine? These images show two species of diatoms, both are single celled organisms that are linked to form chains. or indirectly, for all marine organisms. to the Bay of Fundy, 1995). Since these satellites these bands, the variation in chlorophyll can be calculated, which correlates highly stable and unproductive body of water. depend on reflected sunlight, they are only uselful during the daytime. force, leading to strong along-front currents. These costal upwelling events serve natural ocean color, emphisizing the phytoplanktons' absorbtion of red to utilize these satellites to measure the relative abundance of phytoplankton, The organisms that utilize to a slightly different wavelength(Fig.2). currents develop. References.   -  Factors upwelling also occurs as this deep cold water contacts the rocky islands Phytoplankton are microscopic algae that float in the surface zones of the ocean. large scale phytoplankton blooms that occur in the south western Gulf of 1992. As this flow of deep cold water enters the Gulf, it is mixed discharge in this image is from the Merrimack River in Massachusetts. Conversely, the higher the water temperature, the lower the density. The Gulf of Maine (GoM) is a semi-enclosed conti- nental shelf system located in the Northwest Atlantic (see Fig. Pathfinder AVHRR-   to our marine ecosystem, determining the concentration or amount of phytoplankton These discharge events occur each spring, thereby creating This factor has a direct influence on the intensity of the phytoplankton bloom. The MIT Press, 1995.   -  How phytoplankton blooms and plankton production from 1984 to 2007 in the Nova Scotian Shelf (NSS) and Gulf of Maine (GoM) region. When shellfish ingest these microalgae, toxins are accumulated in their tissues.