Optical characterization of the deep-waters of the Gulf of Mexico by in situ PAR during summer

Erik Coria-Monter, Adolfo Gracia, David Alberto Salas de León, María Adela Monreal-Gómez, Elizabeth Durán-Campos

Submited: 2020-11-03 13:01:09 | Published: 2021-08-31 20:44:49

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3856/vol49-issue4-fulltext-2668

Abstract


Phytoplankton is a sentinel group of organisms of climate change due to their capacity to respond to multiple stressors, so studies documenting the optimal optical conditions within the water column affecting their growth and production are imperative. As a contribution to this topic, this study report selected optical properties in deep-waters of the Gulf of Mexico by in situ measurements during summertime. A multidisciplinary research cruise was carried during August/September of 2018. A CTD instrument configured with underwater quantum and fluorescence sensors were used to acquire data of temperature, conductivity, depth, photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), and fluorescence of chlorophyll-a, which were used to determine selected optical coefficients, including the light extinction (k), the compensation light intensity (Ec), the compensation depth (Zc), the critical depth (Zcr), and the incident irradiance (E0). The Brunt-Väisälä frequency calculated from CTD data was used as a magnitude indicator of the water column stratification. The results showed a pycnocline located between 23 and 68 m depth, and favorable conditions for phytoplankton production with high values of E0 reaching 1523.4 μmol m-2 s-1, Ec values ranging from 3 to 8 μmol m-2 s-1, values of Zcr greater than Zc and maximum records of k values of 0.06. Based on multivariate statistical techniques, two zones were clearly defined. These results represent the first observational report on the optical properties in the deep region of the Gulf of Mexico. Studies on the ideal optical conditions for carrying out phytoplankton photosynthesis and their possible seasonal and interannual variability are essential to understand the processes that support the phytoplankton production, especially in regions that are characterized by their high biodiversity.

Coria-Monter E, Gracia A, Salas de León D, Monreal-Gómez M, Durán-Campos E. Optical characterization of the deep-waters of the Gulf of Mexico by in situ PAR during summer. Lat. Am. J. Aquat. Res.. 2021;49(4): 654-662. Available from: doi:10.3856/vol49-issue4-fulltext-2668 [Accessed 18 Oct. 2021].
Coria-Monter, E., Gracia, A., Salas de León, D., Monreal-Gómez, M., & Durán-Campos, E. (2021). Optical characterization of the deep-waters of the Gulf of Mexico by in situ PAR during summer. Latin American Journal of Aquatic Research, 49(4), 654-662. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.3856/vol49-issue4-fulltext-2668