Event Title

Puget Sound weather, phytoplankton, and nutrients

Presentation Abstract

As part of a long-term marine water quality monitoring program, the King County Dept. of Natural Resources & Parks has collected nutrient and chlorophyll-a data for almost 20 years at multiple locations in the Puget Sound Central Basin. This monitoring program has yielded a unique dataset for evaluating the impact of climatic conditions on the phytoplankton and nutrient dynamics within the Central Basin. Samples collected from multiple depths at each of 14 sites, including wastewater treatment plant and combined sewer overflow outfalls, are analyzed monthly. Samples are also collected and analyzed bi-weekly from March through October at three of these sites. Phytoplankton species and relative abundance data have been collected at the three bi-weekly sites since 2008. In addition, in situ moorings have been deployed at three locations to collect data (chlorophyll-a, dissolved oxygen, salinity, temperature) at 15-minute intervals since 2008. A nitrate sensor was added at one location in 2009. It is apparent that weather and climate conditions have played a large role in the timing and extent of phytoplankton blooms in Puget Sound, particularly over the last two years. Long-term nutrient and chlorophyll data, together with the more recent phytoplankton community data, were analyzed in conjunction with local weather and large-scale climate patterns in order to determine key climatic factors regulating the interplay between nutrient and phytoplankton dynamics over different temporal scales. Over the last two years, phytoplankton seasonal bloom events were influenced by unusually cold and wet spring weather patterns, with a subsequent effect on nutrient concentrations. This type of analysis underscores the importance of factoring in weather patterns when assessing the association between phytoplankton and nutrients.

Session Title

Session S-06C: Water Quality III

Conference Track

Water Quality

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2014 : Seattle, Wash.)

Document Type

Event

Start Date

1-5-2014 5:00 PM

End Date

1-5-2014 6:30 PM

Location

Room 6C

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

Text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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May 1st, 5:00 PM May 1st, 6:30 PM

Puget Sound weather, phytoplankton, and nutrients

Room 6C

As part of a long-term marine water quality monitoring program, the King County Dept. of Natural Resources & Parks has collected nutrient and chlorophyll-a data for almost 20 years at multiple locations in the Puget Sound Central Basin. This monitoring program has yielded a unique dataset for evaluating the impact of climatic conditions on the phytoplankton and nutrient dynamics within the Central Basin. Samples collected from multiple depths at each of 14 sites, including wastewater treatment plant and combined sewer overflow outfalls, are analyzed monthly. Samples are also collected and analyzed bi-weekly from March through October at three of these sites. Phytoplankton species and relative abundance data have been collected at the three bi-weekly sites since 2008. In addition, in situ moorings have been deployed at three locations to collect data (chlorophyll-a, dissolved oxygen, salinity, temperature) at 15-minute intervals since 2008. A nitrate sensor was added at one location in 2009. It is apparent that weather and climate conditions have played a large role in the timing and extent of phytoplankton blooms in Puget Sound, particularly over the last two years. Long-term nutrient and chlorophyll data, together with the more recent phytoplankton community data, were analyzed in conjunction with local weather and large-scale climate patterns in order to determine key climatic factors regulating the interplay between nutrient and phytoplankton dynamics over different temporal scales. Over the last two years, phytoplankton seasonal bloom events were influenced by unusually cold and wet spring weather patterns, with a subsequent effect on nutrient concentrations. This type of analysis underscores the importance of factoring in weather patterns when assessing the association between phytoplankton and nutrients.