Distribution of Nutrient Salts and Chlorophyll-a in Surface Water along the Gulf of Aden and Arabian Sea Coast, Yemen

Ibrahim A. Al-Akhaly, Nabil A. Al-Shwafi, Shehab A. Al-Kabsh

Abstract


The distribution of inorganic nutrient salts (ammonium, nitrite, nitrate, phosphate and silicate) and phytoplankton chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) were investigated in the Gulf of Aden and along the Arabian Sea coast, Yemen. Seventy two surface water samples were collected during cruises in August 2014 and January 2015. The sampled area extends from As Suqayyah in the west of the Gulf of Aden to Hawf in the east. The study showed that the average values of nutrient salts (μg/l) in waters collected in August 2014 and January 2015 were 0.83 and 0.60, 10.98 and 10.03, 16.41 and 14.73, 10.36 and 8.76, and 29.72 and 22.67 for ammonium, nitrite, nitrate, phosphate and silicate, respectively. The average values of Chl-a (mg/m3) in August 2014 and January 2015 were 0.26 and 0.21, respectively. The results showed that nitrate levels were very high but those of ammonium very low. This may reflect the oxidation of ammonia to nitrite and then nitrate, leading to a very favorable ratio of ammonia and nitrate values. The low levels of dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN)compounds, (ammonium, nitrite, and nitrate), phosphate, silicate and Chl-a indicated that the southern coast of Yemen is not in a eutrophic condition. The highest nutrient salt values were in the eastern part of the study area, and may have resulted from water originating from the Indian Ocean and upwelling. Statistical analysis to seek correlations between nutrient salts and Chl-a show very good to excellent correlation, which may be due toconstant coastal environment.


Keywords


Arabian Sea; Gulf of Aden; Nutrient salts; Chlorophyll-a; Yemen.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24200/squjs.vol25iss1pp17-25

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