Geo-Marine Letters

, Volume 26, Issue 5, pp 265–273 | Cite as

Seasonal variation of pteropods from the Western Arabian Sea sediment trap

  • R. MohanEmail author
  • K. Verma
  • L. P. Mergulhao
  • D. K. Sinha
  • S. Shanvas
  • M. V. S. Guptha


Sediment trap samples collected from the Western Arabian Sea yielded a rich assemblage of intact and non-living (opaque white) pteropod tests from a water depth of 919 m during January to September 1993. Nine species of pteropods were recorded, all (except one) displaying distinct seasonality in abundance, suggesting their response to changing hydrographical conditions influenced by the summer/winter monsoon cycle. Pteropod fluxes increased during the April–May peak of the intermonsoon, and reached maximum levels in the late phase of the southwest summer monsoon, probably due to the shallowing of the mixed layer depth. This shallowing, coupled with enhanced nutrient availability, provides ideal conditions for pteropod growth, also reflected in corresponding fluctuations in the flux of the foraminifer Globigerina bulloides. Pteropod/planktic foraminifer ratios displayed marked seasonal variations, the values increasing during the warmer months of April and May when planktic foraminiferal fluxes declined. The variation in fluxes of calcium carbonate, organic carbon and biogenic opal show positive correlations with fluxes of pteropods and planktic foraminifers. Calcium carbonate was the main contributor to the total particulate flux, especially during the SW monsoon. In the study area, pteropod flux variations are similar to the other flux patterns, indicating that they, too could be used as a potential tool for palaeoclimatic reconstruction of the recent past.


Mixed Layer Depth Sediment Trap Trap Site Planktic Foraminifer Positive Wind Stress 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors are indebted to the Centre Director, National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR), Ministry of Earth Sciences, Headland Sada, Goa and Director, National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), Dona Paula, Goa for their constant help and encouragement. Thanks are also due to the captain and crew of the oceanographic research vessel Sagar Kanya, and to the Ministry of Ocean Development, New Delhi. Dr. T.M. Balakrishnan Nair, from the Indian National Centre for Information Services (INCOIS), kindly provided the geochemical data. Mr. K.N. Babu is acknowledged for helpful discussion on the regional physical oceanography. Two anonymous reviewers and Dr. M.T. Delafontaine are thanked for constructive feedback.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Mohan
    • 1
    Email author
  • K. Verma
    • 1
  • L. P. Mergulhao
    • 3
  • D. K. Sinha
    • 2
  • S. Shanvas
    • 1
  • M. V. S. Guptha
    • 3
  1. 1.National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean ResearchVasco da GamaIndia
  2. 2.Department of GeologyBanaras Hindu UniversityVaranasiIndia
  3. 3.National Institute of OceanographyPanajiIndia

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