Environmental Drivers of Spring Bloom Timing

Spring 2021 Co-op Project by Aline Isabelle

SalishSeaCast is a 3-dimensional NEMO-based coupled biophysical model of the Salish Sea. The model includes many interacting processes, from important physical oceanography dynamics to a biological food web structure, with mesozooplankton as the highest trophic level.

This analysis utilized data from the 201905 model hindcast to determine the major environmental factors that affect the timing of the spring phytoplankton bloom in different locations of the Salish Sea. Once time series were extracted, the relationships between interannual variation of bloom timing and various environmental conditions were visually examined. A suite of factors were then further investigated with correlation and linear regression analysis.

The following pages outline the methodology used and the relevant findings.


Figure 1. The two locations chosen for this analysis, Station S3 is located in the Central Strait of Georgia, and Station QU39 in the Northern Strait.