Observed variability in physical and biogeochemical parameters in the central Arabian Gulf
Al-Ansari, Ebrahim M.A.S.
Husrevoglu, Yusuf Sinan
Aboobacker, Valliyil Mohammed
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In situ measurements of physical and biogeochemical variables were conducted along a transect in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Qatar during late summer (September 2014) and winter (January 2015) to investigate their vertical, spatial and temporal variability. The study reveals that the water column is characterized by strong stratification during late summer in the deepest station, where the water depth is around 65 m and the surface to bottom temperature variation is around 9.1°C. The water column is vertically homogeneous during winter due to surface cooling and wind mixing. The surface to 23 m water column is characterized by ample dissolved oxygen (DO) during late summer and winter in the offshore regions, however, relatively low DO is found during late summer due to weak mixing and advection under weak winds and currents. Dissolved oxygen drops to hypoxic levels below the summer thermocline, and the winter high DO layer extends up to the bottom. Chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) is relatively high during late summer in the offshore region, while that in the nearshore regions is very low, which is linked to the anthropogenic stresses from the central east coast of Qatar. The results identified in this study fill an essential gap in the knowledge of regional primary production dynamics.