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Sea surface chlorophyll signature in the tropical Pacific during eastern and central Pacific ENSO events

Radenac, M. and Léger, F. and Singh, Awnesh M. and Delcroix, T. (2012) Sea surface chlorophyll signature in the tropical Pacific during eastern and central Pacific ENSO events. Journal of Geophysical Research, 117 (C04007). pp. 1-15. ISSN 0148-0227

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Recent analyses of physical measurements show the existence of a central Pacific type of El Niño (CPEN) with a sea surface temperature warming pattern distinct from that of the “classical” eastern Pacific El Niño (EPEN). In this study, we analyze the surface chlorophyll signature of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), using monthly maps of satellite-derived chlorophyll anomalies between September 1997 and December 2010. We identify five typical ENSO structures. The first structure describes the lonely 1997–1998 EPEN of the period, the second and third represent La Niña, the fourth illustrates intermediate conditions, and the fifth characterizes CPEN. During the 1997–1998 EPEN, a large eastward shift of the oligotrophic warm pool and a reduction of equatorial upwelling result in negative chlorophyll anomalies east of 170 E between 10 S and 10 N. During the four CPEN events, a reduced eastward shift yields negative chlorophyll anomalies in the equatorial band, within about 160 E and 160 W only. Westward surface current in the central basin limits the expansion of the anomaly core. Negative chlorophyll anomalies that extend eastward from the equatorial anomaly core probably result from reduced upward iron fluxes linked to the deepening of the Equatorial Undercurrent. During La Niña, the westward expansion of the equatorial upwelling results in positive chlorophyll anomalies west of the date line. Away from the equatorial band, advection of oligotrophic warm pool waters by enhanced eastward countercurrents drives negative anomalies within 8–10 N and toward the Marquesas Islands during CPEN, while reduced countercurrents lead to positive chlorophyll anomaly during La Niña.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GC Oceanography
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Q Science > Q Science (General)
Q Science > QC Physics
Divisions: Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development (PACE-SD)
Depositing User: Awnesh Singh
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2013 06:20
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2021 00:22

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