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Seasonal influence of freshwater discharge on spatio-temporal variations in primary productivity, sea surface temperature, and euphotic zone depth in the northern Bay of Bengal

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Abstract

Ocean productivity is the foundation of marine food web, which continuously removes atmospheric carbon dioxide and supports life at sea and on land. Spatio-temporal variability of net primary productivity (NPP), sea surface temperature (SST), sea surface salinity (SSS), mixed layer depth (MLD), and euphotic zone depth (EZD) in the northern Bay of Bengal (BoB) during three monsoon seasons were examined in this study based on remote sensing data for the period 2005 to 2020. To compare the NPP distribution between the coastal zones and open BoB, the study area was divided into five zones (Z1–Z5). Results suggest that most productive zones Z2 and Z1 are located at the head bay area and are directly influenced by freshwater discharge together with riverine sediment and nutrient loads. Across Z1–Z5, the NPP ranges from 5 315.38 mg/(m2·d) to 346.7 mg/(m2·d) (carbon, since then the same). The highest monthly average NPP of 5 315.38 mg/(m2·d) in February and 5 039.36 mg/(m2·d) in June were observed from Z2, while the lowest monthly average of 346.72 mg/(m2·d) was observed in March from Z4, which is an oceanic zone. EZD values vary from 6–154 m for the study area, and it has an inverse correlation with NPP concentration. EZD is deeper during the summer season and shallower during the wintertime, with a corresponding increase in productivity. Throughout the year, monthly SST shows slight fluctuation for the entire study area, and statistical analysis shows a significant correlation among NPP, and EZD, overall positive between NPP and MLD, whereas no significant correlation among SSS, and SST for the northern BoB. Long-term trends in SST and productivity were significantly positive in head bay zones but negatively productive in the open ocean. The findings in this study on the distribution of NPP, SST, SSS, MLD, and EZD and their seasonal variability in five different zones of BoB can be used to further improve the management of marine resources and overall environmental condition in response to climate changes in BoB as they are of utmost relevance to the fisheries for the three bordering countries.

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Acknowledgements

The authors thank the US Embassy in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and the US Department of State for sponsoring undergraduate exchange program at Florida Gulf Coast University to carry out this research in Lab of Jose.

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Correspondence to Felix Jose.

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Foundation item: The US Department of State for sponsoring undergraduate exchange program.

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Ahmad, H., Jose, F., Bhuyan, M.S. et al. Seasonal influence of freshwater discharge on spatio-temporal variations in primary productivity, sea surface temperature, and euphotic zone depth in the northern Bay of Bengal. Acta Oceanol. Sin. (2024). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13131-023-2254-y

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13131-023-2254-y

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