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Kahru, M, Fiedler PC, Gille ST, Manzano M, Mitchell BG.  2007.  Sea level anomalies control phytoplankton biomass in the Costa Rica Dome area. Geophysical Research Letters. 34   10.1029/2007gl031631   AbstractWebsite

Satellite data show that chlorophyll-a concentration (Chl-a) in the northeastern tropical Pacific is well correlated with sea level anomaly (SLA). This correlation spans a wide spectrum of scales from large-scale phenomena like ENSO to mesoscale cyclonic and anticyclonic eddies. Negative SLA (e. g. during La Ni (n) over tildea events and in cyclonic eddies) is associated with the lifting of isopycnals in the nutricline and increased Chl-a due to enhanced phytoplankton growth, while positive SLA (e. g. during El Ni (n) over tildeo events and in anticyclonic eddies) is associated with a deeper nutricline and reduced Chl-a due to decreased phytoplankton growth. The coupling between SLA and Chl-a anomaly in the Costa Rica Dome (CRD) area is tighter than has previously been recorded anywhere in the world ocean. 70% of the interannual variations in Chl-a anomaly in the CRD area is explained by a combination of the positive and negative effects of SLA.

Kahru, M, Aitsam A, Elken J.  1981.  Coarse-Scale Spatial Structure of Phytoplankton Standing Crop in Relation to Hydrography in the Open Baltic Sea. Marine Ecology-Progress Series. 5:311-318.   10.3354/meps005311   AbstractWebsite

During an interdisciplinary study of the BOSEX site in the Gotland Basin, central Baltic Sea, a number of mappings of the chlorophyll and hydrographic fields were made by vertical profilings on a regular grid of 20 X 25 nautical miles with a 5-mile station spacing. Spatial variability of the chlorophyll and density fields was partitioned into the fine-scale [- 100 m) and coarse-scale [- 10 km) components. The chlorophyll coarse-scale variance dominates over the fine-scale variance by an order of magnitude in the upper layer. The coarse-scale pattern of the phytoplankton standing crop, measured by the vertically integrated chlorophyll a concentration, shows 2.4-fold variations and coupling to the pattern of the intermediate layer thickness. The intermediate layer separates the upper layer, suitable for plant growth, and the deep layer, the source of nutrients. It is suggested that above a thin intermediate layer, by increased vertical current shear and breaking internal waves, the upward flux of nutrients is intensified causing an enhanced phytoplankton growth and the increased standing crop.

Kahru, M, Nommann S.  1990.  The Phytoplankton Spring Bloom in the Baltic Sea in 1985, 1986 - Multitude of Spatiotemporal Scales. Continental Shelf Research. 10:329-354.   10.1016/0278-4343(90)90055-q   AbstractWebsite

The spatio-temporal development of the phytoplankton spring bloom in the Baltic Sea for two consecutive years is analysed. Quasi-continuous, on-track measurements of particle concentration, fluorescence, temperature and salinity with a resolution of the spatial scales from ≈400 m to basin-wide were supplemented with quantitative samples of the phytoplankton abundance, pigments, and vertical CTD/fluorescence profiles. The improved spatial and temporal resolution allowed us to distinguish variability on different time and space scales. Year-to-year differences were found that include not only the timing of the bloom but also the size distribution of the plankton (composition of the phytoplankton assemblage). Contrary to conventional understanding, the bloom does not start due to the establishment of the vertical thermal stratification as the vertical density profile is controlled by the salinity stratification. The well-known massive diatom bloom is preceded by an initial growth of unidentified small-sized (1–4 μm) phytoplankton. As the bloom usually starts when the surface temperature is still below the temperature of maximum density (about 2.4°C for the salinity in the central Baltic), warming of the surface layer during that period has in fact a destabilizing effect on the stratification. The expansion of the bloom does not appear as a smooth, wave-like propulsion in the northeastern direction but rather as centripetal movements in the form of eddies and filaments from the more stratified coastal areas towards the center; hence, in the northern Baltic proper the progression is roughly in the southerly direction. The central eastern Gotland Basin with the least likelihood of vertical stratification in the photic layer is the last where the bloom commences. There the bloom starts in a mosaic of filaments and eddies that provide the vertical stability. The filaments with reduced salinity and increased temperature probably originate from the coastal areas and represent transformed coastal water.

Kahru, M, Mitchell BG.  1999.  Empirical chlorophyll algorithm and preliminary SeaWiFS validation for the California Current. International Journal of Remote Sensing. 20:3423-3429.   10.1080/014311699211453   AbstractWebsite

A new empirical chlorophyll algorithm is proposed for SeaWiFS (Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor) and other ocean colour sensors. The CAL-P6 algorithm uses a sixth-order polynomial of the ratio of normalized water leaving radiances (L-WN) at 490 nm and 555 nm and is based on 348 measurements of L-WN,, and chlorophyll-a in the California Current. Validation of the SeaWiFS-derived chlorophyll values with 27 concurrent in situ measurements showed high correlation (r(2) = 0.93 in the log-log space) but significant overestimation by SeaWiFS at high chlorophyll-a concentration. The problem was traced to significant underestimation of the SeaWiFS-derived L-WN,, (490) at high chlorophyll-a concentration (3-5mgm(-3)). Further refinement of the atmospheric correction is needed for SeaWiFS to attain its goal of 35% accuracy for chlorophyll retrieval in the coastal zone.

Kahru, M, Jacox MG, Lee Z, Kudela RM, Manzano-Sarabia M, Mitchell BG.  2015.  Optimized multi-satellite merger of primary production estimates in the California Current using inherent optical properties. Journal of Marine Systems. 147:94-102.   10.1016/j.jmarsys.2014.06.003   AbstractWebsite

Building a multi-decadal time series of large-scale estimates of net primary production (NPP) requires merging data from multiple ocean color satellites. The primary product of ocean color sensors is spectral remote sensing reflectance (Rrs). We found significant differences (13-18% median absolute percent error) between Rrs estimates at 443 nm of different satellite sensors. These differences in Rrs are transferred to inherent optical properties and further on to estimates of NPP. We estimated NPP for the California Current region from three ocean color sensors (SeaWiFS, MODIS-Aqua and MERIS) using a regionally optimized absorption based primary production model (Aph-PP) of Lee et al. (2011). Optimization of the Aph-PP model was required for each individual satellite sensor in order to make NPP estimates from different sensors compatible with each other. While the concept of Aph-PP has advantages over traditional chlorophyll-based NPP models, in practical application even the optimized Aph-PP model explained less than 60% of the total variance in NPP which is similar to other NPP algorithms. Uncertainties in satellite Rrs estimates as well as uncertainties in parameters representing phytoplankton depth distribution and physiology are likely to be limiting our current capability to accurately estimate NPP from space. Introducing a generic vertical profile for phytoplankton improved slightly the skill of the Aph-PP model. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Kahru, M, Kudela R, Manzano-Sarabia M, Mitchell BG.  2009.  Trends in primary production in the California Current detected with satellite data. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 114   10.1029/2008jc004979   AbstractWebsite

Several ocean primary production algorithms using satellite data were evaluated on a large archive of net primary production (NPP) and chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) measurements collected by the California Cooperative Fisheries Investigations program in the California Current. The best algorithm matching in situ data was found by empirically adjusting the Behrenfeld-Falkowski Vertically Generalized Production Model. Satellite-derived time series of NPP were calculated for the California Current area. Significant increase in NPP and Chl-a annual peak levels, i.e., the "bloom magnitude,'' were found along the coasts of the California Current as well as other major eastern boundary currents for the period of modern ocean color data (1997-2007). The reasons for this increase are not clear but are associated with various environmental conditions.

Kahru, M.  1983.  Phytoplankton Patchiness Generated by Long Internal Waves - a Model. Marine Ecology-Progress Series. 10:111-117.   10.3354/meps010111   AbstractWebsite

A simple computer model is used to investigate the interaction between long internal waves (period ~ 13 d) and processes of primary productivity in the Baltic Sea. The periodic vertical displacements in or near the photic zone affect the availability of light and nutrients to primary producers, resulting in integral vertical fluxes of nutrients and biomass. If the nitrogen flux is parameterized implicitly by a diffusive flux across the halocline, the apparent coefficients of eddy diffusivity are more often negative and exceed in absolute value by 2 orders of magnitude the experimentally determined values. Differences in the depth integrals of daily primary production between wave crests and troughs amount to ~ 50 % and the vertical flux of the nitrate nitrogen may locally reach ~ 50 mg N m-2d-1 The outlined mechanism might be a significant additional source for the formation of mesoscale horizontal heterogeneities in phytoplankton biomass.

Kahru, M, Nommann S, Zeitzschel B.  1991.  Particle (Plankton) Size Structure across the Azores Front (Joint Global Ocean Flux Study North-Atlantic Bloom Experiment). Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 96:7083-7088.   10.1029/90jc02693   AbstractWebsite

The horizontal distributions of particle size spectrum and chlorophyll a concentration across the northern edge of the North Atlantic subtropical gyre along 21-degrees-W were studied as part of the Joint Global Ocean Flux Study North Atlantic Bloom Experiment in March-April, 1989. An abrupt change in the particle size spectrum at 32-degrees-40'N was located within the broad thermohaline front between the central gyre water in the south and the Azores Current in the north. Whereas the small particulate fraction (1-10-mu-m) and chlorophyll a concentration were similar (within a factor of 2), the abundance of the "diatom" size fraction (28-72-mu-m) showed a drastic increase by more than an order of magnitude in the Azores Current. The diatom fraction seemed to contribute little to the chlorophyll pool, indicating a postbloom condition. Different trophic pathways, i.e., grazing of the picoplankton in the gyre versus the diatom bloom with the following detrital loop in the Azores Current and northward, can be conjectured. The increased scattering versus absorption due to the different particle size spectrum and composition could bias the algorithms of pigment retrieval from remote sensing data.

Kahru, M, Jacox MG, Ohman MD.  2018.  CCE1: Decrease in the frequency of oceanic fronts and surface chlorophyll concentration in the California Current System during the 2014-2016 northeast Pacific warm anomalies. Deep-Sea Research Part I-Oceanographic Research Papers. 140:4-13.   10.1016/j.dsr.2018.04.007   AbstractWebsite

Oceanic fronts are sites of increased vertical exchange that are often associated with increased primary productivity, downward flux of organic carbon, and aggregation of plankton and higher trophic levels. Given the influence of fronts on the functioning of marine ecosystems, an improved understanding of the spatial and temporal variability of frontal activity is desirable. Here, we document changes in the frequency of sea-surface fronts and the surface concentration of chlorophyll-a (Chla) in the California Current System that occurred during the Northeast Pacific anomalous warming of 2014-2015 and El Nino of 2015-2016, and place those anomalies in the context of two decades of variability. Frontal frequency was detected with the automated histogram method using datasets of sea-surface temperature (SST) and Chla from multiple satellite sensors. During the anomalous 2014-2016 period, a drop in the frequency of fronts coincided with the largest negative Chla anomalies and positive SST anomalies in the whole period of satellite observations (1997-2017 for Chla and 1982-2017 for SST). These recent reductions in frontal frequency ran counter to a previously reported increasing trend, though it remains to be seen if they represent brief interruptions in that trend or a reversal that will persist going forward.

Kahru, M, Mitchell BG.  2001.  Seasonal and nonseasonal variability of satellite-derived chlorophyll and colored dissolved organic matter concentration in the California Current. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 106:2517-2529.   10.1029/1999jc000094   AbstractWebsite

Time series of surface chlorophyll a concentration (Chl) and colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) derived from the Ocean Color and Temperature Sensor and Sea-Viewing Wide Field-of-View Sensor were evaluated for the California Current area using regional algorithms. Satellite data composited for 8-day periods provide the ability to describe large-scale changes in surface parameters. These changes are difficult to detect based on in situ observations alone that suffer from undersampling the large temporal and spatial variability, especially in Chi. We detected no significant bias in satellite Chi estimates compared with ship-based measurements. The variability in CDOM concentration was significantly smaller than that in Chi, both spatially and temporally. While being subject to large interannual and short-term variations, offshore waters (100-1000 km from the shore) have an annual cycle of Chi and CDOM with a maximum in winter-spring (December-March) and a minimum in late summer. For inshore waters the maximum is more likely in spring (April-May). We detect significant increase in both Chi and CDOM off central and southern California during the La Nina year of 1999. The trend of increasing Chi and CDOM from October 1996 to June 2000 is statistically significant in many areas.

Kahru, M, Elmgren R.  2014.  Multidecadal time series of satellite-detected accumulations of cyanobacteria in the Baltic Sea. Biogeosciences. 11:3619-3633.   10.5194/bg-11-3619-2014   AbstractWebsite

Cyanobacteria, primarily of the species Nodularia spumigena, form extensive surface accumulations in the Baltic Sea in July and August, ranging from diffuse flakes to dense surface scums. The area of these accumulations can reach similar to 200 000 km(2). We describe the compilation of a 35-year-long time series (1979-2013) of cyanobacteria surface accumulations in the Baltic Sea using multiple satellite sensors. This appears to be one of the longest satellite-based time series in biological oceanography. The satellite algorithm is based on remote sensing reflectance of the water in the red band, a measure of turbidity. Validation of the satellite algorithm using horizontal transects from a ship of opportunity showed the strongest relationship with phycocyanin fluorescence (an indicator of cyanobacteria), followed by turbidity and then by chlorophyll a fluorescence. The areal fraction with cyanobacteria accumulations (FCA) and the total accumulated area affected (TA) were used to characterize the intensity and extent of the accumulations. The fraction with cyanobacteria accumulations was calculated as the ratio of the number of detected accumulations to the number of cloud-free sea-surface views per pixel during the season (July-August). The total accumulated area affected was calculated by adding the area of pixels where accumulations were detected at least once during the season. The fraction with cyanobacteria accumulations and TA were correlated (R-2 = 0.55) and both showed large interannual and decadal-scale variations. The average FCA was significantly higher for the second half of the time series (13.8 %, 1997-2013) than for the first half (8.6 %, 1979-1996). However, that does not seem to represent a long-term trend but decadal-scale oscillations. Cyanobacteria accumulations were common in the 1970s and early 1980s (FCA between 11-17 %), but rare (FCA below 4 %) during 1985-1990; they increased again starting in 1991 and particularly in 1999, reaching maxima in FCA (similar to 25 %) and TA (similar to 210 000 km(2)) in 2005 and 2008. After 2008, FCA declined to more moderate levels (6-17 %). The timing of the accumulations has become earlier in the season, at a mean rate of 0.6 days per year, resulting in approximately 20 days advancement during the study period. The interannual variations in FCA are positively correlated with the concentration of chlorophyll a during July-August sampled at the depth of similar to 5 m by a ship of opportunity, but interannual variations in FCA are more pronounced as the coefficient of variation is over 5 times higher.

Kahru, M, Brotas V, Manzano-Sarabia M, Mitchell BG.  2011.  Are phytoplankton blooms occurring earlier in the Arctic? Global Change Biology. 17:1733-1739.   10.1111/j.1365-2486.2010.02312.x   AbstractWebsite

Time series of satellite-derived surface chlorophyll-a concentration (Chl) in 1997-2009 were used to examine for trends in the timing of the annual phytoplankton bloom maximum. Significant trends towards earlier phytoplankton blooms were detected in about 11% of the area of the Arctic Ocean with valid Chl data, e.g. in the Hudson Bay, Foxe Basin, Baffin Sea, off the coasts of Greenland, in the Kara Sea and around Novaya Zemlya. These areas roughly coincide with areas where ice concentration has decreased in early summer (June), thus making the earlier blooms possible. In the selected areas, the annual phytoplankton bloom maximum has advanced by up to 50 days which may have consequences for the Arctic food chain and carbon cycling. Outside the Arctic, the annual Chl maximum has become earlier in boreal North Pacific but later in the North Atlantic.

Kahru, M, Horstmann U, Rud O.  1994.  Satellite detection of increased cyanobacteria blooms in the Baltic Sea: Natural fluctuation or ecosystem change? Ambio. Stockholm. 23:469-472. AbstractWebsite

Using data from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) on the NOAA series of satellites, an increase in the area covered by cyanobacteria blooms in the Baltic Sea was detected. The time series of satellite data covers a period of 12 years from 1982 to 1993. The total area covered by surface-floating cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) has increased in the 1990s, reaching over 62 000 km in 1992. From 1992, visible accumulations appeared for the first time in the Gulf of Riga and reappeared, in the western Gulf of Finland, after being absent from 1984. Conspicuous surface blooms were also present in the early 1980s, coincident with a period of sunny and calm summers. However, when the influence of variable sunshine duration is taken into account, the increase in 1991-1993 is still distinct, indicating significant changes in the Baltic environment. The causal factors for the increased cyanobacteria blooms are still not clear.

Kahru, M, Lee ZP, Mitchell BG.  2017.  Contemporaneous disequilibrium of bio-optical properties in the Southern Ocean. Geophysical Research Letters. 44:2835-2842.   10.1002/2016gl072453   AbstractWebsite

Significant changes in satellite-detected net primary production (NPP, mgCm(-2)d(-1)) were observed in the Southern Ocean during 2011-2016: an increase in the Pacific sector and a decrease in the Atlantic sector. While no clear physical forcing was identified, we hypothesize that the changes in NPP were associated with changes in the phytoplankton community and reflected in the concomitant bio-optical properties. Satellite algorithms for chlorophyll a concentration (Chl a, mgm(-3)) use a combination of estimates of the remote sensing reflectance Rrs() that are statistically fitted to a global reference data set. In any particular region or point in space/time the estimate produced by the global mean algorithm can deviate from the true value. Reflectance anomaly (RA) is supposed to remove the first-order variability in Rrs() associated with Chl a and reveal bio-optical properties that are due to the composition of phytoplankton and associated materials. Time series of RA showed variability at multiple scales, including the life span of the sensor, multiyear and annual. Models of plankton functional types using estimated Chl a as input cannot be expected to correctly resolve regional and seasonal anomalies due to biases in the Chl a estimate that they are based on. While a statistical model using RA() time series can predict the times series of NPP with high accuracy (R-2=0.82) in both Pacific and Atlantic regions, the underlying mechanisms in terms of phytoplankton groups and the associated materials remain elusive.

Kahru, M, Michell GB, Diaz A, Miura M.  2004.  MODIS detects a devastating algal bloom in Paracas Bay, Peru. EOS Trans. AGU Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union. 85:465. Abstract
Kahru, M, Leppanen JM, Nommann S, Passow U, Postel L, Schulz S.  1990.  Spatio-temporal Mosaic of the Phytoplankton Spring Bloom in the Open Baltic Sea in 1986. Marine Ecology-Progress Series. 66:301-309.   10.3354/meps066301   AbstractWebsite

The spatio-temporal variability of the phytoplankton spring bloom in the open Baltic Sea during an international joint study (PEX'86) is described in relation to the physical and chemical environment. Simultaneous participation of 14 research vessels enabled highly synoptic sampling of the study area of 20 X 40 n mile. Onset of the bloom was controlled by mesoscale hydrodynamic features - a pair of cyclonic and anticyclonic eddies; water masses with different salinities. The eddies supported an exceptionally high amount of chlorophyll (> 700 mg m-' in the cyclonic eddy). The temporal development of the bloom was different in each of the mesoscale features. Chlorophyll levels in the eddies started to decrease due to segmentation before formation of the thermocline and the depletion of inorganic nutrients. Variability of the chlorophyll distribution was highest just before the peak in the spatially averaged concentrahon was attained.

Kahru, M, Mitchell BG.  1998.  Spectral reflectance and absorption of a massive red tide off southern California. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 103:21601-21609.   10.1029/98jc01945   AbstractWebsite

Spectral reflectance and absorption of a massive Lingulodinium (Gonyaulax) polyedra red tide in March 1995 off southern California are compared to a "baseline" of biooptical measurements from the California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations. The red tide was characterized by increased absorption and therefore reduced remote sensing reflectance (R(rs)) in the 340-400 nm spectral range. The increased ultraviolet absorption was probably caused by mycosporine-like amino acids in the particulate fraction as well as increased absorption by dissolved organic matter. The chlorophyll a (chl a) specific particulate absorption of the L. polyedra bloom in the visible spectral range remained relatively constant for the chi a range 1-150 mg m(-3) indicating accumulation of cells with similar optical characteristics. The difference in the R(rs) versus chl a relationship of the red tide and "normal" California Current phytoplankton diminished with increasing wavelength from 340 nm and disappeared at 412 nm. Ratios of R(rs) at 340 nm (or 380 nm) and 412 nm (or 443 nm) provided differentiation of the red tide starting at chi a concentration of 1-2 mg m(-3). The forthcoming Japanese Global Imager (GLI) satellite sensor has, among others, the 380 nm band. If the signal to noise ratio and atmospheric correction for the 380 nm band are sufficient to retrieve the dynamic range of the water leaving radiance, then it might be possible to differentiate red tides from other phytoplankton bloods with the algorithm described here.

Kahru, M, Kudela RM, Anderson CR, Mitchell BG.  2015.  Optimized merger of ocean chlorophyll algorithms of MODIS-Aqua and VIIRS. Ieee Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters. 12:2282-2285.   10.1109/lgrs.2015.2470250   AbstractWebsite

Standard ocean chlorophyll-a (Chla) products from currently operational satellite sensors Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Aqua and Visible Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) underestimate medium and high in situ Chla concentrations and have approximately 9% bias between each other in the California Current. By using the regional optimization approach of Kahru et al., we minimized the differences between satellite estimates and in situ match-ups as well as between estimates of the two satellite sensors and created improved empirical algorithms for both sensors. The regionally optimized Chla estimates from MODIS-Aqua and VIIRS have no bias between each other, have improved retrievals at medium to high in situ Chla, and can be merged to improve temporal frequency and spatial coverage and to extend the merged time series.

Kahru, M, Savchuk OP, Elmgren R.  2007.  Satellite measurements of cyanobacterial bloom frequency in the Baltic Sea: interannual and spatial variability. Marine Ecology-Progress Series. 343:15-23.   10.3354/meps06943   AbstractWebsite

Owing to the potentially harmful character of nitrogen-fixing filamentous cyanobacterial blooms in the Baltic Sea, a capacity to predict their occurrence is of interest. We quantified the surface accumulations of cyanobacteria, mainly Nodularia spumigena, using ocean colour satellite data. The spatial and temporal frequency of the accumulations was mapped with an automated detection algorithm, using their high reflectance in the 670 or 555 nm bands. Coastal Zone Color Scanner (CZCS) data were used for a first period (1979 to 1984), and combined SeaWiFS and MODIS-Aqua data for a second period (1998 to 2006). The frequency of cyanobacterial accumulations (FCA) for each 1 km(2) pixel was calculated as the ratio of scenes with detected cyanobacteria to the number of valid cloud-free scenes in July-August. FCA varied greatly among years and the basins of the Baltic Sea. Mean FCA was 39% higher in the second period, but the increase was not statistically significant. The mean FCA for the whole Baltic was positively correlated with the residual phosphate (RP) concentration after the spring bloom in May-June. RP was a useful predictor of FCA in the coming summer, but could not predict the spatial pattern of the bloom. This was better explained by prevailing winds, with high FCA in the southwestern Baltic after northerly winds in July. It seems that, at the time of writing, useful FCA predictions can be made after the spring bloom, but only for the whole Baltic.

Kahru, M, Aitsam A, Elken J.  1982.  Spatio-Temporal Dynamics of Chlorophyll in the Open Baltic Sea. Journal of Plankton Research. 4:779-790.   10.1093/plankt/4.4.779   AbstractWebsite

Five charts of the chlorophyll and hydrographic fields by vertical profiles of in situ fluorescence and CTD were made on a stationary grid of 20 × 25 nautical miles with a 5-mile spacing in the open Baltic Sea. Both chlorophyll levels and variability were maximal close to the spring bloom. High chlorophyll levels in summer are sustained by recurrent nutrient injections from the deep saline layer. Two of the surveys showed close coupling between the coarse-scale (∼10 km) chlorophyll distribution and the hydrographic structure determining the intensity of nutrient transfer. Vigorous advection, stirring and current shear, associated with a strong mesoscale eddy, probably dominated the chlorophyll pattern on three surveys. The upward velocities in the cyclonic eddy resulted in accumulation of phytoplankton in the aphotic zone. Intensive heat input from the surface caused a sudden sinking of the phytoplankton and the formation of a pronounced sub-surface chlorophyll maximum.

Kahru, M, Leeben A.  1991.  Size Structure of Planktonic Particles in Relation to Hydrographic Structure in the Skagerrak. Marine Ecology-Progress Series. 76:159-166.   10.3354/meps076159   AbstractWebsite

Horizontal distributions of the particle size spectrum and chlorophyll a concentration in near-surface water in relation to hydrographic structure were studied along a transect across the Skagerrak as part of the international SKAGEX-I exercise in May-June, 1990. Results are compared with those of Kiorboe et al. (Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 59: 19-32, 1990) who explained changes in the plankton size structure and the food web as resulting from differences in water column stratification. It was confirmed that the particle size fraction corresponding to diatoms was most abundant along the Skagerrak periphery where stronger vertical mixing is assumed to take place. The smallest (1 to 4-mu-m), chlorophyll-correlated particulate fraction was most abundant in the central Skagerrak with the dome-like near-surface stratification and the presumably reduced vertical mixing. However, distributions along the transect changed considerably over 1 to 3 d due to advection. In addition to the basin-wide changes, correlations of the different particle size fractions to chlorophyll concentration changed over much shorter length scales, often being in opposite phase to each other. An equivalent spherical diameter of 4-mu-m was the size at which the most significant shift in the horizontal distributions occurred.

Kahru, M, Mitchell BG.  2000.  Influence of the 1997-98 El Nino on the surface chlorophyll in the California Current. Geophysical Research Letters. 27:2937-2940.   10.1029/2000gl011486   AbstractWebsite

Satellite-derived time series for the California Current System (CCS) showed marked changes in the surface chlorophyll a concentration (Chl, mg m(-3)) associated with the 1997-98 El Nino. In addition to the previously known de crease in Chi off Southern California (Fiedler, 1984), we also observed a significant increase of Chi off Baja California. Whereas the extent of eutrophic (Chl > 1.0) areas decreased throughout the CCS, the extent of mesotrophic areas (0.2 < Chi < 1.0) off Baja California approximately doubled. The reduced area of eutrophic waters is attributed to weakened upwelling but the increase in the offshore mesotrophic area off Baja may be caused by blooms of nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria. Using revised Coastal Zone Color Scanner data we detected similar changes during the 1982-83 El Nino.

Kahru, M, Kudela RM, Anderson CR, Manzano-Sarabia M, Mitchell BG.  2014.  Evaluation of satellite retrievals of ocean chlorophyll-a in the California Current. Remote Sensing. 6:8524-8540.   10.3390/rs6098524   AbstractWebsite

Retrievals of ocean surface chlorophyll-a concentration (Chla) by multiple ocean color satellite sensors (SeaWiFS, MODIS-Terra, MODIS-Aqua, MERIS, VIIRS) using standard algorithms were evaluated in the California Current using a large archive of in situ measurements. Over the full range of in situ Chla, all sensors produced a coefficient of determination (R-2) between 0.79 and 0.88 and a median absolute percent error (MdAPE) between 21% and 27%. However, at in situ Chla > 1 mg m(-3), only products from MERIS (both the ESA produced algal_1 and NASA produced chlor_a) maintained reasonable accuracy (R-2 from 0.74 to 0.52 and MdAPE from 23% to 31%, respectively), while the other sensors had R-2 below 0.5 and MdAPE higher than 36%. We show that the low accuracy at medium and high Chla is caused by the poor retrieval of remote sensing reflectance.