Influence of hydrography of Central Mexican Pacific in the spatial variation of inorganic nutrients during 2010

Friday, 19 December 2014
Aramis Olivos-Ortiz, Juan Gavino-Rodriguez, Sonia Quijano-Scheggia, Gloria Pelayo-Martinez, Ernesto Torres-Orozco and Miriam Calva-Chavez, University of Colima, Colima, Mexico
The Mexican Central Pacific (MCP) is considered an oligotrophic area that holds important populations of different species with ecological and economic importance like marine mammals, billfish and tunas. Hydrographic mechanisms are responsible to interplay with the biogeochemical cycles of nutrients to support primary productivity for these food webs. It is argued that seasonal upwelling of bottom waters rich in nutrients generates distributed in patches of high-productivity, which are also linked to topographic continental forcing. The goal of this study is determine the presence of water masses, depth of the mixed layer, temperature, salinity, patterns of geostrophic currents and their influence on the spatiotemporal variability of inorganic nutrients. For that pupose, three oceanographic cruises were conducted in January, May-June, and October of 2010 off the coast of the MCP. Each campaign consisted of 15 stations in five perpendicular transects with stations at 2, 50 and 100 nm offshore. At each station samples were taken to determine the concentration of NO3-+ NO2-, NH4+, PO43- and SiO2 at 0, 10, 25, 50, 75, 100, 150 and 200 m depth. CTD casts were made up to 500m to obtain profiles of salinity, temperature, water masses, and identify geostrophic currents (direction and intensity). Identified water masses were: Pacific Tropical Surface Water (PTSW), Pacific Equatorial Surface Water (PESW), Equatorial Pacific Water (EPW), California Current Water (CCW), Subtropical Subsurface Water (STSsW), and Pacific Intermediate Water (PIT); these water masses were present in all three seasons being more clear the presence of CCW during autumn and PTSW in winter. The interaction between coastal topography, geostrophic circulation, and the depth of the mixed layer (55m oceanic part in January and 10m coastal area in October) were the factors that determined the location of areas of high concentration of nutrients. The distribution of nutrients was heterogeneous, characterized by mesoscale structures beyond the continental shelf or coastal upwelling events; no significant difference between concentrations at different seasons of the year with the following ranges: 1.2-8.9 uM NO3-+ NO2-, NH4+ 0.8-12.4 mM, 0.1-5.0 mM PO43-, and 3.2-14.5 mM SiO2.