Spring Phytoplankton Production in the Western Ross Sea

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Science  14 Oct 1994:
Vol. 266, Issue 5183, pp. 261-263
DOI: 10.1126/science.266.5183.261


Coastal zone color scanner (CZCS) imagery of the western Ross Sea revealed the Presence of an intense phytoplankton bloom covering >106,000 square kilometers in early December 1978. This bloom developed inside the Ross Sea polynya, within 2 weeks of initial polynya formation in late November. Primary productivity calculated from December imagery (3.9 grams of carbon per square meter per day) was up to four times the values measured during in situ studies in mid-January to February 1979. Inclusion of this early season production yields a spring-to-summer estimate of 141 to 171 grams of carbon per square meter, three to four times the values previously reported for the western Ross Sea.