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Free Content The transport of nutrient-rich Indian Ocean water through the Red Sea and into coastal reef systems

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Driven by upwelling-favorable monsoon winds, nutrient-rich Gulf of Aden Intermediate Water (GAIW) enters the Red Sea from the Indian Ocean each summer. Hydrographic and velocity data acquired in autumn 2011 provide the first indication that GAIW is carried rapidly northward along the eastern Red Sea margin in a well-defined subsurface current with speeds >30 cm s–1. The nutrient-rich (NO2 + NO3 concentrations up to 17 μmol l–1) GAIW overlaps the euphotic zone and appears to fuel enhanced productivity over depths of 35–67 m. GAIW is broadly distributed through the Red Sea, extending northward along the eastern Red Sea boundary to ∼24°N and carried across the Red Sea in the circulation of a basin-scale eddy. Of particular significance is the observed incursion of GAIW into coastal areas with dense coral formations, suggesting that GAIW could be an important source of new nutrients to coral reef ecosystems of the Red Sea.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2014

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  • The Journal of Marine Research, one of the oldest journals in American marine science, publishes peer-reviewed research articles covering a broad array of topics in physical, biological and chemical oceanography. Articles that deal with processes, as well as those that report significant observations, are welcome. Biological studies involving coupling between ecological and physical processes are preferred over those that report systematics. The editors strive always to serve authors and readers in the academic oceanographic community by publishing papers vital to the marine research in the long and rich tradition of the Sears Foundation for Marine Research. We welcome you to the Journal of Marine Research.
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