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Patterns and variability in ocean acidification conditions in Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca

By J. A. (Jan A.) Newton, Simone Alin, Beth Curry, Adrienne J. Sutton, John Mickett, Richard A. Feely, Marine Lebrec, Dana Greeley, Wendi Ruef, Andrea Fassbender and Terrie Klinger


The Washington Ocean Acidification Center is working with NOAA and other partners to increase understanding of ocean acidification dynamics and spatial variability in the Salish Sea, and how these correlate with planktonic responses. These data are critical for assessing water quality, areas with higher or lower OA stress, and to understand effects on the food web. Two main strategies are employed; seasonal ship cruises provide spatial coverage and the ability to collect plankton, while mooring buoys provide information on mechanisms and the range of variation due to the high-resolution and constant coverage they provide. Results show a strong degree of depth, seasonal, and spatial variation in pH and aragonite saturation state. In general, the lowest pH and aragonite saturation state values are at depth, particularly in stratified areas, though this can shift during seasonal localized upwelling, e.g., Southern Hood Canal, and in mixed water columns, e.g., the Main Basin. Seasonal patterns are spatially diverse, with stratified areas exhibiting strong vertical gradients with depth during summer and more homogenous conditions during winter; well-mixed areas show less variation year-round. This implies that species encounter quite different OA conditions in various parts of the Salish Sea between the seasons. Mooring CO2 data reveal higher variation during late fall through early spring at sites within the Salish Sea, due to winter mixing of stratified waters, yet the reverse pattern off the Washington coast, due to summer upwelling. In both cases, these mechanisms (winter mixing and summer upwelling) operate across a gradient, bringing relatively deeper lower pH / aragonite saturation state waters in contact with surface waters with higher values. Such changes in the spatial and depth distribution of corrosive conditions have broad implications for sensitive marine life

Topics: Ocean acidification, Monitoring, Fresh Water Studies, Life Sciences, Marine Biology, Natural Resources and Conservation, Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology
Publisher: Western CEDAR
Year: 2018
OAI identifier:

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