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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 17, Iss. 24 — Nov. 23, 2009
  • pp: 21992–22004

Autonomous observations of in vivo fluorescence and particle backscattering in an oceanic oxygen minimum zone

A. L. Whitmire, R. M. Letelier, V. Villagrán, and O. Ulloa  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 17, Issue 24, pp. 21992-22004 (2009)

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The eastern South Pacific (ESP) oxygen minimum zone (OMZ) is a permanent hydrographic feature located directly off the coasts of northern Chile and Peru. The ESP OMZ reaches from coastal waters out to thousands of kilometers offshore, and can extend from the near surface to depths greater than 700 m. Oxygen minimum zones support unique microbial assemblages and play an important role in marine elemental cycles. We present results from two autonomous profiling floats that provide nine months of time-series data on temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll a, and particulate backscattering in the ESP OMZ. We observed consistently elevated backscattering signals within low-oxygen waters, which appear to be the result of enhanced microbial biomass in the OMZ intermediate waters. We also observed secondary chlorophyll a fluorescence maxima within low-oxygen waters when the upper limit of the OMZ penetrated the base of the photic zone. We suggest that autonomous profiling floats are useful tools for monitoring physical dynamics of OMZs and the microbial response to perturbations in these areas.

© 2009 OSA

OCIS Codes
(010.4450) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Oceanic optics
(260.2510) Physical optics : Fluorescence
(290.5850) Scattering : Scattering, particles
(010.1350) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Backscattering

ToC Category:
Atmospheric and Oceanic Optics

Original Manuscript: August 3, 2009
Revised Manuscript: November 6, 2009
Manuscript Accepted: November 10, 2009
Published: November 17, 2009

Virtual Issues
Vol. 4, Iss. 13 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

A. L. Whitmire, R. M. Letelier, V. Villagrán, and O. Ulloa, "Autonomous observations of in vivo 
fluorescence and particle backscattering
in an oceanic oxygen minimum zone," Opt. Express 17, 21992-22004 (2009)

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