Nutrient dynamics in the vicinity of the Prince Edward Islands

Smith, Valdon R. ; Froneman, P. William (2008)

The original publication is available from AFRICAN SUN MeDIA, Stellenbosch: South Africa.

CITATION: Smith, V. R. & Froneman, P. W. 2008. Nutrient dynamics in the vicinity of the Prince Edward Islands, in S. L. Chown & P. W. Froneman (eds). The Prince Edward Islands: Land-Sea Interactions in a Changing Ecosystem. Stellenbosch: AFRICAN SUN MeDIA. 165-179. doi:10.18820/9781928357063/07.

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Nutrient concentrations in the open waters of the Polar Frontal Zone (PFZ) are highly variable, reflecting the region’s complex oceanographic regime. Surface concentrations of nitrate, silicate and phosphate range from 9.5 to 97.5, from 0.2 to 16.5 and from < 0.1 to 16.6 mmol m-3, respectively (Allanson et al. 1985; Duncombe Rae 1989; Ismail 1990; Balarin 2000). Changes in nutrient concentrations coincide with the intrusion of Antarctic surface water from the south and sub-Antarctic surface water from the north (Ansorge et al. 1999; Froneman et al. 1999). Mesoscale features such as far field eddies or the eddies generated by the interaction between the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) and the South-West Indian Ridge further contribute to the heterogeneity in nutrient concentrations within the surface waters of the PFZ (Ansorge & Lutjeharms 2002, 2003; Ansorge et al. 2004).

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