Water column characteristics in the Clarion Clipperton Fracture Zone, north-eastern tropical Pacific Ocean

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Dan Vasiliu Inken Preuss Mihaela Muresan

Abstract

Four exploration license areas for manganese nodules (German, Inter Ocean Metal, Belgian, and French) and one Area of Particular Environmental Interest, located within Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone (north-eastern tropical Pacific Ocean) were investigated in terms of CTD, nutrients and chlorophyll data during the SONNE 239 cruise carried out in March-April 2015. Chlorophyll measured either in the surface layer (concentrations within 0.05-0.15 mg·m-3) or subsurface chlorophyll maximum layer (concentrations within 0.23-0.45 mg·m-3) showed a quite low primary productivity, strongly influenced by the thermocline position. The shallow thermocline (75-90 m depth) observed in the southern edge of the studied area (≈11°N) led to a shallow and moderate subsurface chlorophyll maximum layer (50-60 m depth and concentrations within 0.4-0.45 mg·m-3). Northwards, at ≈18°N, the thermocline dropped down to 120 m depth, resulting in a deeper (110 m depth) and weaker subsurface chlorophyll maximum (concentration of 0.23 mg·m-3). The oxygen minimum layer, characteristic to the eastern Pacific Ocean, showed a spatial variability in the studied area in terms of the depth of occurrence and thickness. Thus, shallower (80-90 m depth) and thicker (thickness within 1000-1050 m) oxygen minimum zones were observed in the southernmost license areas as compared to the northernmost area (280 m depth and thickness of 750 m).

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How to Cite
VASILIU, Dan; PREUSS, Inken; MURESAN, Mihaela. Water column characteristics in the Clarion Clipperton Fracture Zone, north-eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. Geo-Eco-Marina, [S.l.], v. 28, p. 5-20, dec. 2022. ISSN 1224-6808. Available at: <https://journal.geoecomar.ro/geo-eco-marina/article/view/01_2022>. Date accessed: 01 mar. 2024. doi: https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.7491412.
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