Event Abstract

Modulation of sea surface temperature by Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers

  • 1 Vigo University, Spain

It is an undeniable fact that ocean temperature has increased worldwide in the mid-20th century, although warming rate changes depend on spatial and temporal scales. In this way, some coastal phenomena as the presence of rivers, coastal lagoons or upwelling conditions are able to provoke changes in the sea surface temperature (SST). River plumes have a great impact on seawater modulating its physical, chemical and biological characteristics. Physical implications are linked with variations in circulation patterns, available light or stratification, besides SST. Chemical implications are associated with changes in dissolved matter. These variations have biological and ecological impacts in the areas under their influence. In this sense, the influence of the Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers, the main river plume system into the Gulf of Mexico, on SST trends was analyzed. The development of these plumes was evaluated through MODIS satellite imagery from 2003 to 2015. Both rivers form a continuous plume that reaches its maximum extension in winter months. The Gulf of Mexico SST was obtained through the OISST1/4 database from 1982 to 2015. A cooling trend along the area occupied by the plume is observed during winter while a warming trend was observed for the rest of the Gulf of Mexico. Therefore, this freshwater layer is able to modulate the warming observed at the adjacent ocean locations. This observed pattern is affected by variations in river discharge and wind patterns. Finally, changes in AMO, NAO, PDO and PNA teleconnection patterns also influence the SST modulation provoked by Mississippi and Atchafalaya River plumes.

Keywords: Mississippi, Atchafalaya, river plume, Sst, Warming modulation

Conference: IMMR | International Meeting on Marine Research 2016, Peniche, Portugal, 14 Jul - 15 Jul, 2016.

Presentation Type: Oral presentation

Topic: Oceanography and Maritime Technology

Citation: Fernandez-Novoa D, Costoya X, DeCastro M and Gómez-Gesteira M (2016). Modulation of sea surface temperature by Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers. Front. Mar. Sci. Conference Abstract: IMMR | International Meeting on Marine Research 2016. doi: 10.3389/conf.FMARS.2016.04.00109

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Received: 13 Jul 2016; Published Online: 13 Jul 2016.

* Correspondence: Mr. Diego Fernandez-Novoa, Vigo University, Ourense, Ourense, Spain, diefernandez@uvigo.es