Color of the water and nutrients
Aloha Team Knorr!
Very very interesting logs on this mission. I learn something new everyday!
I have a question about the color of the ocean up there. In the waters surrounding Hawaii, the water is an amazing blue color. The scientists I ask, tell me blue is the color of the Hawaiian liquid desert. Very few nutrients here, resulting in few phytoplankton, and fewer zooplankton. Less life, means clearer water, therefore the sunlight is able to penetrate the water very deeply.
Are your scientists discovering that the color of the Bering Sea is the result of less nutrients, or phytoplankton, or zoo plankton? Is the algae bloom over in the blue waters where you are sampling? What kinds of phytoplankton are you identifying up there now?
You are doing a fabulous job! Keep up the good work:)
Hello again. Its good to hear from you.
One thing that has amazed me the most here in the Bering Sea is the changing color of the ocean. It changes because of the amount of phytoplankton that is present, which in turn changes because of the nutient levels, and the location of the continential shelf. As you know, the Bering Sea hasa very large shelf area. The shallower waters over the shelf have more nutrients then over the deep water off of the shelf and because of that there is more phytoplankton. It gets very interesting at the shelf break, the point where the shelf drops doen to much deeper waters. This is an area of high productivity, one reason is because of the upwelling of nutrients from the deep that occurs there. This is the area where I have seen the largest number of birds and zooplankton. The ocean color is not the clear blue that Im sure you are used to in Hawaii. I would describe it as more of a steel greyish color, all because of the higher levels of nutrients and hence phytoplankton. We are seeing a variety of phytoplankton species up here. I have been following the Cryptophytes, but we are also seeing diatoms, Phaeocystis, and a bunch of cyanobacteria. The cyanobacteria are really surprising the scientists because their numbers are relativily high this year. Very interesting science going on!!!!!!