Tendencias espaciales y temporales en la distribución de macronutrientes en aguas superficiales del Pasaje Drake

Tendencias espaciales y temporales en la distribución de macronutrientes en aguas superficiales del Pasaje Drake

Flavio Emiliano Paparazzo

Resumen


El Pasaje de Drake (DP) une los océanos Pacífico y Atlántico Sur, y actúa como un estrechamiento físico de la mayor corriente del Océano Mundial, la corriente circumpolar antártica (ACC). Esto crea una constricción entre los principales frentes circumpolares: el Frente Subantártico, el Frente Polar, el Frente Sur de la Corriente Circumpolar Antártica y el Frente del Límite de Aguas Continentales. Estudios previos mostraron que el PD es una región de nutrientes altos y clorofila baja (HNLC en inglés), pero los estudios centrados en las fluctuaciones interanuales y estacionales de macronutrientes en relación con la clorofila y las áreas frontales son escasos. Este estudio analiza las tendencias espaciales y temporales de la concentración de nitrato, fosfato y silicato en relación con los diferentes frentes y la concentración de clorofila-a, derivadas del análisis de muestras colectadas en 113 estaciones oceanográficas realizadas en aguas superficiales del PD durante el verano y principios del otoño de 2001 a 2004. Los resultados revelaron un incremento de los nutrientes hacia el sur. El nitrato mostró valores de 3 μM a los 55º S a 27 μM a los 63º S, mientras que para el fosfato se observaron valores de 0.3 μM a 55º S hasta 2.6 μM a los 63º S. El silicato aumentó considerablemente al sur del Frente Polar, desde 0 μM a los 55º S hasta 74 μM a los 62º S. La concentración de nutrientes fue significativamente mayor en verano que en otoño y mostró una tendencia a disminuir en los años estudiados. Una suma compleja de procesos biogeoquímicos generaría las principales tendencias estacionales, mientras que procesos atmosféricos-oceánicos como el Modo Anular del Sur y El Niño Oscilación Sur, serían responsables de la variabilidad interanual observada en los nutrientes.

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