Physical Characterization of the Reef Lagoon at Banco Chinchorro, Mexico: An Overview
Abstract:In order to obtain data on the physical characteristics of the reef lagoon, temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, current velocity, and content pigments in the water column were measured in Banco Chinchorro from August 1997 to July 1998. Sediment samples were collected to determine grain size and organic matter content. The rainy season had the highest mean temperature (29.18 ± 0.41°C); whereas, the dry season and the cold season had 28.05 ± 1.22°C and 26.70 ± 0.71°C, respectively. There was no thermal or density stratification within the reef lagoon. Salinity varied from 36.90 ± 0.17‰ in the dry season to 36.05 ± 0.34‰ in the rainy season; dissolved oxygen was over 5.6 mg L−1 during the sample period. Velocity current was 2.06 ± 1.35 m s−1 in the rainy season and 1.95 ± 2.01 m s−1 in the dry season. Chlorophyll a concentration varied from 1.145 ± 0.942 μg L−1 to 0.954 ± 0.300 μg L−1 in rainy season and from 2.035 ± 0.198 μg L−1 to 1.249 ± 0.273 μg L−1 in the dry season. Chlorophyll b concentration varied from 1.4501 ± 0.208 μg L−1 to 1.2044 ± 0.3854 μg L−1 to in the rainy season and from 1.2602 ± 1.508 μg L−1 to 0.862 ± 1.010 μg L−1 in dry season. Sediment was very coarse sand in the southern part of the reef lagoon, whereas in the northern part was the sand medium and fine, with a maximum of 9.18% of organic matter. The reef lagoon is a shallow and stable environment, surrounded by oligotrophic oceanic waters, with a narrow variation of environmental parameters that promotes the presence of diverse and abundant communities.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: July 1, 2003
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