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https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2020-48
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2020-48
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 18 Jun 2020

Submitted as: research article | 18 Jun 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal OS.

Sea–ice and water dynamics and moonlight impact the acoustic backscatter diurnal signal over the eastern Beaufort Sea continental slope

Igor A. Dmitrenko1, Vladislav Petrusevich1, Gérald Darnis2, Sergei A. Kirillov1, Alexander S. Komarov3, Jens K. Ehn1, Alexandre Forest2, Louis Fortier2, Søren Rysgaard1,4, and David G. Barber1 Igor A. Dmitrenko et al.
  • 1Centre for Earth Observation Science, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, R3T 2N2, Canada
  • 2Department of Biology, Laval University, Québec City, G1V 0A6, Canada
  • 3Data Assimilation and Satellite Meteorology Research Section, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Ottawa, K1V 1C7, Canada
  • 4Arctic Research Centre, Aarhus University, Aarhus, DK-8000, Denmark

Abstract. A two-year-long time series of currents and acoustic backscatter from an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler, moored over the eastern Beaufort Sea continental slope from October 2003 to September 2005, were used to assess dynamics and variability of the sound-scattering layer. It has been shown that acoustic backscatter is dominated by a synchronized diel vertical migration (DVM) of the zooplankton. Our results show that DVM timings (i) were synchronous with sunlight, and (ii) were modified by moonlight and sea-ice, which attenuates light transmission to the water column. Moreover, DVM is modified or completely disrupted during highly energetic current events. Thicker ice observed during winter 2004–2005 lowered the backscatter values, but favored extending DVM toward the midnight sun. In contrast to many previous studies, DVM occurred through the intermediate water layer during the ice-free season of the midnight sun in 2004. In 2005, the midnight sun DVM was likely masked by a high acoustic scattering generated by suspended particles. During full moon at low cloud cover, the nighttime moonlight illuminance led to zooplankton avoidance of the sub-surface layer disrupting DVM. Moreover, DVM was disrupted by upwelling, downwelling and eddy passing. We suggest that these deviations are consistent with DVM adjusting to avoid enhanced water dynamics. For upwelling and downwelling, zooplankton likely respond to the along-slope water dynamics dominated by surface- and depth-intensified flow, respectively. This drives zooplankton to adjust DVM by aggregating in the low or upper intermediate water layer for upwelling and downwelling, respectively. The baroclinic eddy reversed DVM below the eddy core.

Igor A. Dmitrenko et al.

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Igor A. Dmitrenko et al.

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Short summary
Diel vertical migration (DVM) of zooplankton is the largest non-human migration on the Earth. DVM in the eastern Beaufort Sea was assessed using a two-year-long time series of currents and acoustic signal from the bottom-anchored oceanographic mooring. Our results show that DVM is deviated by the (i) seasonal and inter-annual variability in sea-ice and (ii) wind-driven water dynamics. We also observed the midnight sun DVM during summer 2004, a signal masked by suspended particles in summer 2005.
Diel vertical migration (DVM) of zooplankton is the largest non-human migration on the Earth....
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