Contrasting Wind Regimes Cause Differences in Primary Production in the Black Sea Eastern and Western Gyres

Agirbas E., Tilstone G., FEYZİOĞLU A. M.

TURKISH JOURNAL OF FISHERIES AND AQUATIC SCIENCES, vol.17, no.5, pp.981-994, 2017 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


A 12-year time series of SeaWiFS chlorophyll a (Chl-a), primary production (PP), sea surface temperature (SST), and meteorological wind speed were used to examine decadal changes in these parameters in the eastern and western Gyres of the Black Sea. In both Gyres, low wind speeds and SST led to higher PP. After 2004, there was a progressive decrease in PP and Chl-a, which co-varied with increasing SST. Chl-a and PP were significantly higher in the western Gyre compared to the eastern Gyre, especially from 1998 to 2004. Wind speed negatively correlated with PP in both Gyres, but the higher wind speed prior to relaxation in the western Gyre led to higher PP during spring and autumn. Variability in annual PP in both Gyres was coupled to fluctuations in the Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI), which affected the wind regime more in the eastern than in the western Gyre. The data suggest that localised wind regimes in the western gyre that are uncoupled from MEI, sustains higher PP in this area.