Modelling new production in the northwest Indian Ocean region

L. J. Watts, S. Sathyendranath, C. Caverhill, H. Maass, T. Platt, N. J.P. Owens

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23 Citations (Scopus)


Oceanic new production is a potential avenue for the removal of atmospheric carbon dioxide to the deep abyss. The ability to estimate new production on large, ocean-basin scales has important implications for studies of the greenhouse effect. This paper describes the development of a method which will allow real-time estimates of new production on ocean-basin scales, given real-time data on ocean colour and sea-surface temperature from satellites. This study has concentrated on the northwest Indian Ocean region but the protocol developed could be geographically transportable. Results from a biogeochemical study carried out in the northwest Indian Ocean during a monsoon and an intermonsoon period in 1994 indicate that this region can be partitioned into 6 distinct provinces based on bathymetry, sea-surface temperature and chlorophyll measurements. Parameters that define the vertical structure in the biomass profile and the photosynthesis-light curve have been established for each province and these, in combination with archived satellite data, are used to compute the primary production for each province using an established light-dependent model. From our empirically derived relationship between the f-ratio and primary production, new production for the northwest Indian Ocean over these 2 different seasons is computed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalMarine Ecology Progress Series
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 1999


  • Biogeochemical provinces
  • F-ratio
  • Modelling
  • New production
  • Northwest Indian Ocean
  • Primary production
  • Satellite remote sensing


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