Inter-Annual and Shorter-Term Variability in Physical and Biological Characteristics Across Barrow Canyon in August – September 2005-2014
Friday, 19 December 2014
Late summer physical and biological conditions along a 37-km transect crossing Barrow Canyon have been described for the past ten years as part of an ongoing program, supported by multiple funding sources including the NSF AON, focusing on inter-annual variability and the formation of a bowhead whale feeding hotspot near Barrow. These repeated transects (at least two per year, separated in time by days-weeks) provide an opportunity to assess the inter-annual and shorter term (days-weeks) changes in hydrographic structure, ocean temperature, current velocity and transport, chlorophyll fluorescence, nutrients, and micro- and mesozooplankton community composition and abundance. Inter-annual variability in all properties was high and was associated with larger scale, meteorological forcing. Shorter-term variability could also be high but was strongly influenced by changes in local wind forcing. The sustained sampling at this location provided critical measures of inter-annual variability that should permit detection of longer-term trends that are associated with ongoing climate change.