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Publication Title

Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans








A 1‐year time sequence (November 1978 through October 1979) of surface pigment images from the South Atlantic Bight (SAB) was derived from the Nimbus 7 coastal zone color scanner. This data set is augmented with in situ observations of hydrographic parameters, freshwater discharge, sea level, coastal winds, and currents for the purpose of examining the coupling between physical processes and the spatial and temporal variability of the surface pigment fields. The SAB is divided into three regions: the east Florida shelf, the Georgia‐South Carolina shelf and the Carolina Capes. Six‐month "seasonal" mean pigment fields and time series of mean values within subregions were generated. While the seasonal mean isopleths were closely oriented along isobaths, significant differences between seasons in each region were found to exist. These differences are explained by correlating the pigment time series with physical parameters and processes known to be important in the SAB. Specifically, summertime concentrations between Cape Romain and Cape Canaveral were greater than those in winter, but the opposite was true north of Cape Romain. It is suggested that during the abnormally high freshwater discharge in the winter‐spring of 1979, Cape Romain and Cape Fear were the major sites of cross‐shelf transport, while the cross‐shelf exchange during the fall of 1979 occurred just north of Cape Canaveral. Finally, the alongshore band of high pigment concentrations increased in width throughout the year in the vicinity of Charleston, but near Jacksonville it exhibited a minimum width in the summer and a maximum width in the fall of 1979.


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Original Publication Citation

McClain, C. R., Yoder, J. A., Atkinson, L. P., Blanton, J. O., Lee, T. N., Singer, J. J., & Mullerkarger, F. (1988). Variability of surface pigment concentrations in the South Atlantic Bight. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 93(C9), 10675-10697. doi:10.1029/JC093iC09p10675


0000-0003-2919-100X (Atkinson)


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