Seasonal variability of recurrent phytoplankton pigment patterns in the Canary Islands area
Seasonal variability of recurrent phytoplankton pigment patterns in the Canary Islands area has been determined using historical data from Nimbus-7 Coastal Zone Color Scanner data. The main patterns associated with the islands are cyclonic and anticyclonic eddies downstream of the islands, apparently caused by their effect as a topographic obstacle to the flow of the Canary Current. These eddies are present during all seasons, suggesting that the speed of the Canary Current is always strong enough to develop eddies. The pattern associated with the influence of the coastal upwelling system off north-west Africa consists of upwelling filaments stretching from the African coast to the islands. They are fundamentally present during summer and early fall when strong Trade Winds blow over the area. Both patterns may contribute to the mesoscale activity south of the islands.