Comparative Analysis and Predictions of Algal Blooms in the Arabian Gulf and the Sea of Oman

A comprehensive study of seasonal variations of algal blooms in the Sea of Oman and the Arabian Gulf was initiated in the frame of a joint project funded by Sultan Qaboos University and United Arab Emirates University. In carrying out this project, Dr.Sergey Piontkovski (SQU) and Dr.Waleed Hamza (UAEU) are aimed at monthly sampling as well as the assembly of historical data on 24 environmental characteristics (namely solar radiation, atmospheric temperature, wind, aerosols, surface currents, temperature, salinity, concentration of dissolved oxygen, nutrients, phytoplankton, zooplankton, fish larvae abundance, small and large pelagic fish catches).

In order to estimate magnitudes of seasonal changes, numerous data sets on vertical distribution of temperature, salinity, water density, dissolved oxygen, featuring the latest two decades, were retrieved from archives of national and international oceanographic expeditions to the region.

In analyzing physical-biological interactions, scientists emphasize the role of wind driven surface currents markedly affecting the development of algal blooms. In particular, research teams have focused on detailed studies of the relationship between characteristics of the wind field, kinetic energy of surface currents and magnitudes of algal blooms driving oxygen depletions and fish kill incidents.

Ongoing explorations and current results have been discussed during the International GULF 3 conference (http://conferences.aehms.org/gulf3/).

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