Field sampling, remote sensing and modelling were employed to understand the seasonal and interannual changes of chlorophyll-a concentrations in the Gulf of Oman in comparison to open sea regions. In these regions, maximal chlorophyll concentrations were reported during the summer monsoon (with peaks in June and August), while in the Gulf of Oman, the chlorophyll maximum was observed during the winter monsoon (February-March). From 1997 through to 2008, the interannual variability in chlorophyll-a concentrations in the Gulf of Oman has not exhibited pronounced trends and neither have the other two (oceanic) regions in the western Arabian Sea. However, an increase of the annual variation in chlorophyll concentrations over the years was noticed. The diatom biomass decreased two-fold from 1997 to 2007. Nitrate concentration and mixed-layer depth also declined. In comparison to the seasonal blooms driven in the Gulf of Oman by the dinoflagellate Noctiluca scintillans, the year 2008 was markedly different. The summer bloom was shifted to September; it was gradually extended in time and formed by the other species. An applicability of the concept of ecosystem regime shift is discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)