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Particulate organic carbon flux from the shelf of oceanic waters during upwelling between 19 N and 25 N off Mauritania has been analysed using coastal zone colour scanner (CZCS) imagery. Biomass in the giant filament has been estimated using surface pigment concentration registered by CZCS during time series in December 1983, March 1984, and October 1984. Evidence for active phytoplankton growth in offshore waters is presented. Formation of the giant filament seems to be favoured by the combination of a number of factors perhaps unique to the Mauritanian shelf. The large-scale circulation patterns promote offshore advection, and the typically long period of wind forcing can move the upwelling centre to the shelf break area, thus causing maximal phytoplankton growth rate to be achieved in oceanic waters. The relatively high pigment concentrations registered by CZCS in oceanic waters suggest the nutrients have not been depleted on the shelf and that in situ growth is occurring in deep waters. A baroclinic, hydrodynamic model has been used to estimate cross-slope flux of particulate organic carbon at the 200 m isobath, and to derive a mean value of about 1 x 1.0E5 gC/s during each of the CZCS time series.

Additional information

Authors: GABRIC A J, Griffith University, Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Nathan (AU);GARCIA L ET AL., JRC Ispra (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: Article: Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 98 (1993) No. C3, pp. 4697-4712
Record Number: 199310922 / Last updated on: 1994-11-29
Original language: en
Available languages: en