Physical and biological effects of Los Niños in the eastern tropical Pacific, 1986 -1989

  • Fiedler P
  • Chavez F
  • Behringer D
 et al. 
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Abstract

he easter tropica Pacific Ocea was surveyed i August-November 1986 . 1987, 1988 a d 1989 as part of a o g-term program to mo itor do phi stocks . Temperature, sa i ity, ch orophy a d utrie ts were mo itored to he p i terpret variabi ity i do phi stock estimates . The four surveys revea major e viro me ta cha ges duri g the moderate 1987 E Niño a d the co d La Niña episode that fo owed i 1988. Duri g the "o set" phase of E Niño i fa 1986 . surface temperatures were up to 1 .5°C above orma i equatoria water, but ear orma i tropica water orth of the equator . The equatoria thermoc i e ridge was deepe ed by 10-30 m . Duri g the "mature" phase of E Niño i fa 1987, surface temperatures a oma ies were up to +2.5°C i equatoria water a d about + ° C i tropica water. Thermoc i e topography was a oma ous y f at . Surface ch orophy a d utrie t co ce tratio s dec i ed by 11--18% compared to 1986, with the greatest dec i es occurri g i coasta a d equatoria upwe i g systems a d a o g the cou tercurre t thermoc i e ridge . Duri g La Niña 1988, equatoria surface temperatures were up to 2 .5°C be ow orma a d the equatoria thermoc i e ridge was 10-50 m more sha ow tha orma Ch orophy a d itrate co ce tratio s i creased by 58-65% compared to 1987 . I 1989, surface temperature was withi ±- 1°C of orma throughout the study area a d ch orophy co ce tratio s were simi ar to those observed i 1986 . Cha ges i utrie t avai abi ity a d bio ogica productivity duri g the E Niño/La Niña cyc e were caused by variatio s i both the rate of wi d-drive upwe i g a d i the utrie t co te t of subsurface water e trai ed by upwe i g

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Authors

  • Paul C. Fiedler

  • Francisco P. Chavez

  • David W. Behringer

  • Stephen B. Reilly

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