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Brazilian Journal of Oceanography

versão impressa ISSN 1679-8759


ECA, Gilmara Fernandes; LOPES, Joselene Badú de Brito Santos; SOUZA, Marcelo Friederichs Landim de  e  BELEM, André Luiz. Dissolved inorganic nutrients and chlorophyll on the narrow continental shelf of Eastern Brazil. Braz. j. oceanogr. [online]. 2014, vol.62, n.1, pp.11-21. ISSN 1679-8759.

The eastern Brazilian continental shelf is narrow and subject to the influence of a western boundary current system, presenting lower biological productivity than other regions. In this study, the distribution of water masses, dissolved inorganic nutrients, chlorophyll-a and total suspended solids (TSS) on the inner shelf (< 35 m depth), between Itacaré and Canavieiras, eastern Brazil, is presented. Sampling surveys were carried out in March and August 2006 and March 2007. Tropical water (TW) prevailed during March 2006 and August 2007 with the lower salinity waters (< 36) found in most samples taken in March 2007, reflecting the influence of continental outflow and rain in coastal waters. Low concentrations of dissolved inorganic nutrients and Chl-a found were typical of TW and results suggested that the inner shelf waters were depleted in dissolved inorganic nitrogen in August 2006 and March 2007, and in phosphate in March 2006, potentially affecting phytoplankton growth. Stratification of the water column was observed due to differences in dissolved nutrient concentrations, chlorophyll-a and TSS when comparing surface and bottom samples, possibly the result of a colder water intrusion and mixing on the bottom shelf and a deep chlorophyll maximum and/or sediment resuspension effect. Despite this stratification, oceanographic processes such as lateral mixing driven by the Brazil Current as well as a northward alongshore drift driven by winds and tides transporting Coastal Water can lead to an enhanced mixing of these waters promoting some heterogeneity in this oligotrophic environment.

Palavras-chave : Coastal Water; Tropical Water; Brazil Current; Oligotrophic System; Phytoplankton; Redfield Ratio.

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