Marine biogeochemistry: the CYCLOPS project

The availability of operational ocean colour data has revolutionised the way that many marine biological processes can be observed. NEODAAS data are now an indispensible part of field campaigns (e.g. the Atlantic Meridional Transect and CROZEX project) and for investigating temporal dynamics of phytoplankton production in regional seas (Groom et al., 2005) in the global oceans (e.g. Smyth et al., 2005) and biogeochemical functioning (e.g. CYCLOPS).

“CYCLOPS” was an EC Framework project led by Prof. Mike Krom, University of Leeds, to investigate ecosystem functioning in the phosphate depleted waters of the eastern Mediterranean. The project paid for NEODAAS-Plymouth services, including cruise support and post cruise analyses. The project involved a nutrient release with SF6 used as a tracer. Results were contrary to initial expectations with a decrease in chlorophyll-a in response to the nutrient addition. Explanations for this include the possibility that the phosphorous may have been taken up by the bacteria. A synthesis of project results were published by Thingstad et al. (2005) in Science and included a NEODAAS co-author. NEODAAS data were also included in a further five papers in a special issue of Deep-Sea Research II (Fig. 1b). Furthermore, the data processed in this project have been “re-used” by a University of London PhD student and are continuing to be used by researchers in Leeds and PML.

SeaWiFS image from the CYCLOPS project CYCLOPS special issue of DSR II
a) b)

Figure 1: a) SeaWiFS image from the CYCLOPS project published in Thingstad et al., Science, 2005, b) CYCLOPS special issue of DSR II (NEODAAS data were also included in a further five papers in a special issue of Deep-Sea Research II).

Groom, S., Herut, B., Brenner, S., Zodiatis, G., Psarra, S., Kress, N., Krom, M.D., Law, C.S. & Drakopoulos. P. (2005) Satellite-derived spatial and temporal biological variability in the Cyprus Eddy, Deep-Sea Research Part II-Topical Studies in Oceanography, 52 (22-23), 2990-3010.

Thingstad, T.F., Krom, M.D., Mantoura, R.F.C., Flaten, G.A.F., Groom, S., Herut, B., Kress, N., Law, C.S., Pasternak, A., Pitta, P., Psarra, S., Rassoulzadegan, F., Tanaka, T., Tselepides, A., Wassmann, P., Woodward, E.M.S., Riser, C.W., Zodiatis, G. & Zohary, T. (2005) Nature of phosphorus limitation in the ultraoligotrophic eastern Mediterranean, Science, 309 (5737), 1068-1071.

Robinson, C., Poulton, A.J., Holligan, P.M., Baker, A.R., Forster, G., Gist, N., Jickells, T.D., Malin, G., Upstill-Goddard, R. & Williams, R.G. (2006) The Atlantic Meridional Transect (AMT) Programme: A contextual view 1995-2005. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, 53(14-16), 1485-1515.

Smyth, T.J., Tilstone, G.H., & Groom, S.B. (2005) Integration of radiative transfer into satellite models of ocean primary production, Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans, 110 (C10), 2005.