Spatial patterns and environmental associations of deep scattering layers in the northwestern subtropical Pacific Ocean

Yuhang Song Juan Yang Chunsheng Wang Dong Sun

Yuhang Song, Juan Yang, Chunsheng Wang, Dong Sun. Spatial patterns and environmental associations of deep scattering layers in the northwestern subtropical Pacific Ocean[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica. doi: 10.1007/s13131-021-1973-1
Citation: Yuhang Song, Juan Yang, Chunsheng Wang, Dong Sun. Spatial patterns and environmental associations of deep scattering layers in the northwestern subtropical Pacific Ocean[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica. doi: 10.1007/s13131-021-1973-1

doi: 10.1007/s13131-021-1973-1

Spatial patterns and environmental associations of deep scattering layers in the northwestern subtropical Pacific Ocean

Funds: The National Natural Science Foundation of China under contract No. 42076122; the China Ocean Mineral Resources Research and Development Association Program under contract Nos DY135-E2-3-04, DY135-E2-2-04 and JS-KTFA-2018-01.
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  • Figure  1.  Map of the study area (red box in the insert) and the navigation and acoustic recording route (red line). The study area is located in the seamount (brighter colored areas) region of the northwestern Pacific Ocean.

    Figure  2.  Echogram (38 kHz) after noise-removal showing the DVM of mesopelagic organisms (at local time 0:00–24:00 September 10, 2018). The red lines indicated the period of midday (at local time 10:00–14:00), when the dwelling depth of mesopelagic organisms was relative stable and it was easy to eliminate the disturbance of DVM. And the black lines indicated the period of midnight (at local time 22:00–next day 2:00), The black arrow indicated the core part of deep scattering layers (DSLs), and the white arrow indicated the diffuse part of DSLs.

    Figure  3.  An example about identifying the boundaries of core deep scattering layers (DSLs) according to gradient method. a. Vertical distribution of mean volume backscattering strength (MVBS); b. vertical distribution of changes in gradient of MVBS. The dots are identified boundaries of core DSLs.

    Figure  4.  Maps of environmental conditions in the study area (the average data during September was used for mapping). a, b. Sea surface temperature (SST) and mesopelagic average temperature (MAT); c, d. sea surface salinity (SSS) and mesopelagic average salinity (MAS); e. mixing layer depth (MLD); f. mesopelagic average dissolved oxygen concentration (MAO); g. net primary productivity (NPP); h. 490 nm light attenuation coefficient (LAC). The black curves in some images are isolines.

    Figure  5.  The distribution of environmental variables according to k-means clustering methods in study area. Green group is northern part, yellow group is central part, and red group is southern part.

    Figure  6.  Box plots about the features of environment in three parts (NP, northern part; CP, central part; SP, southern part). a. Mesopelagic average temperature (MAT); b. mesopelagic average salinity (MAS); c. mesopelagic average dissolved oxygen concentration (MAO); d. 490 nm light attenuation coefficient (LAC); e. primary productivity (PP).

    Figure  7.  Box plots about the features of deep scattering layers (DSLs), showing the differences among three parts (NP, northern part; CP, central part; SP, southern part). a. Mesopelagic nautical area scattering coefficient (MNASC); b. center mass (CM); and c. mesopelagic gathering level (MGL) of mesopelagic zone. d and e showed the upper (UBD) and lower boundary depth (LBD) of DSLs, respectively.

    Figure  8.  Vertical distribution of acoustic backscatter grouped into three parts, according to the result of k-means cluster analysis. a, northern part; b, central part; c, southern part. Red lines show average midday-time profiles (10:00–14:00), and light red shadows are range of standard deviations. Black lines show average midnight-time profiles (22:00–next day 2:00), and gray shadows are range of standard deviations. x-axis is acoustic backscatter measured as nautical area scattering coefficient (NASC) at the corresponding depth.

    Figure  9.  The echogram at midday along latitudinal gradient. The yellow curve is 160 μmol/kg dissolved oxygen isoline and the red curve is the depth of 0.01% surface light intensity isoline.

    A1.  Midday vertical distributions of backscattering strength and its changing gradient in the whole study area. a, b. The vertical distributions of increasing gradient and decreasing gradient, respectively; c. the vertical distribution of mean volume backscattering strength (MVBS). Black curves are identified upper and lower boundaries of DSLs (UBD and LBD). x-axis is the column data number.

    A2.  The linear correlations between the mesopelagic nautical area scattering coefficient (NASC) during cruise and net primary productivity (NPP) in the past twelve months. The blue lines were fitting curves with R2 (p<0.05).

    A3.  Maps of remote-sensing-based net primary productivity (NPP) in study area during a year (from November 2017 to October 2018).

    Table  1.   List of abbreviations in the present study

    AcronymsFull namesUnit
    NASC (sA)nautical area scattering coefficientm2/n mile2
    ASC (sa)area scattering coefficientm2/m2
    MGLmesopelagic gathering level%
    VBC (sv)volume backscattering coefficientM−1
    MVBS (Sv)mean volume backscattering strengthdB re 4 II m−1
    CMcenter massm
    UBDupper boundary depthm
    LBDlower boundary depthm
    MAmigration amplituden mile2/m2
    MPmigration proportion%
    WMDweight migration depthm
    LAClight attenuation coefficientm−1
    NPPnet primary productivitymg/(m2·d) (according to carbon)
    MLDmixed layer depthm
    SSTsea surface temperature°C
    SSSsea surface salinity
    MATmesopelagic average temperature°C
    MASmesopelagic average salinity
    MAOmesopelagic average oxygen concentrationμmol/kg
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