4.7 Article

Influence of the Orinoco River on the primary production of eastern Caribbean surface waters

Journal

JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-OCEANS
Volume 118, Issue 9, Pages 4617-4632

Publisher

AMER GEOPHYSICAL UNION
DOI: 10.1002/jgrc.20342

Keywords

primary production; FRRF; ocean color; MODIS; eastern Caribbean

Categories

Funding

  1. Office of Naval Research [N000140310904]
  2. US Department of Energy [DE-FG02-05ER64029, DE-FG02-05ER64149]
  3. NASA-UPR Tropical Center for Earth and Space Studies (TCESS)

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The influence of the Orinoco River on the primary production in eastern Caribbean waters was investigated using fast repetition rate fluorometry (FRRF) and ocean color remote sensing. FRRF-based carbon fixation rates significantly correlated with independent estimates based on the C-14 uptake method (r=0.92, n=9). Satellite-derived estimates of primary production, using the Carbon Based Productivity Method (CbPM), moderately correlated with in situ FRRF-based measurements. These estimates varied with river plume dilution gradients, with the highest rates associated with waters under river plume influence (CbPM 631 mg C m(-2) d(-1) and FRRF 570 mg C m(-2) d(-1)). A time series of satellite-derived estimates (2002-2011) revealed seasonal variations associated with river discharge and climate driven fluctuations. Regional integrated productivity of about 2.80 Tg C yr(-1) was calculated based on the average spatial coverage of the Orinoco River plume over the last decade.

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