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Steady-state DCM dynamics in Canaries waters.

  This paper concerns the deep chlorophyll maximum (DCM) dynamics in a steady state, using primarily data from the Canary Islands Area of Filament and Eddy eXchange obtained in August 1999 during a cruise between oligotrophic waters west of La Palma and the north-west African coastal upwelling. CTD-fluorometer observations of the deep fluorescence maximum (DFM) were confirmed by water samples from which chlorophyll was extracted. The DFM-DCM was perturbed at many stations by island-generated eddies and similar features, and the paper focuses on unperturbed stations, which were identified by the occurrence of the DFM close to the 26.4kgm-3 isopycnal. The DFM at these stations occurred at the top of the nitracline, in the presence of 0.3-2M nitrate+nitrite, and at 24h mean isolumes of 10-20Em-2s-1. The classical compensation depth model predicts the occurrence of the DFM-DCM at less illumination and hence at too great a depth, making it necessary to take into account additional losses, especially those due to the respiration of microheterotrophs in biomass equilibrium with phytoplankton. The depth of the steady-state DCM is compatible with the predictions of a microplankton model, given (i) a ratio of 0.3-0.6 of microheterotroph to total microplankton biomass, and (ii) other losses (due to meszooplankton grazing and vertical mixing) of about 0.1d-1.

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  • Date:

    01 January 2002

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  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    577 Ecology


Tett, P., Arístegui, J., Barton, D. & Basterretxea, G. (2002). Steady-state DCM dynamics in Canaries waters. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography. 49, 3543-3559. doi:10.1016/S0967-0645(02)00097-8. ISSN 0967-0645


Deep chlorophyll maximum; DCM; Deep fluorescence maximum; DFM; Canary Islands; Shallow DFM; Microheterotrophs; Phytoplankton; Ecological Balance; DCM depth steady;

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