Phytoplankton Bloom Produced by a Receding Ice Edge in the Ross Sea: Spatial Coherence with the Density Field

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Science  11 Jan 1985:
Vol. 227, Issue 4683, pp. 163-166
DOI: 10.1126/science.227.4683.163


Measurements of chlorophyll, particulate carbon, and biogenic silica concentrations near a receding ice edge off the coast of Victoria Land, Antarctica, indicated the presence of a dense phytoplankton bloom. The bloom extended 250 kilometers from the ice edge and was restricted to waters where the melting of ice had resulted in reduced salinity. The region involved was one of enhanced vertical stability, which may have favored phytoplankton growth, accumulation, or both. Epontic algae released from melting ice may have served as an inoculum for the bloom. Ratios of organic carbon to chlorophyll and biogenic silica to carbon were unusually high, resulting in high biogenic silica concentrations despite only moderately high chlorophyll levels.