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Equatorial waves in the Atlantic Ocean and their influence on phytoplankton

Grant number: 16/16506-9
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2016
Effective date (End): June 30, 2017
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Oceanography - Physical Oceanography
Principal researcher:Paulo Simionatto Polito
Grantee:Mariana Miracca Lage
Home Institution: Instituto Oceanográfico (IO). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Equatorial planetary waves are found in all three ocean basins, in a small range of about 6 degrees north and south of the Equator. Typically, its period vary from 15 to 90 days, lengths vary from 1000 to 2000 km and phase speeds vary from 25 to 100 km/day. They are forced by the instability of strong equatorial currents and manifest themselves as predominantly southern oscillations or sequences of vortices. The variability introduced by the passage of these waves has a significant influence on the sea surface temperature (SST), biochemical cycles and phytoplankton distribution in the layer above the thermocline. In this project we will identify these waves in the Atlantic Ocean using datasets obtained by satellites, containing data regarding height, chlorophyll and sea surface temperature. Thereby we will try to quantify, through statistical analysis, its influence on phytoplankton.

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