Based on Coastal Zone Color Scanner data from November 1978 through December 1981, the seasonal cycle of phytoplankton pigment in the upper part of the euphotic zone is established for the offshore Laccadive Sea. Year-round, the pigment content is low and the seasonal range is small, following the pattern of the nutrient-poor Arabian Sea to the west. Apparently, indigenous phytoplankton blooms are absent. July and August, however, were poorly studied because of cloud cover. Interannual differences during the northeast monsoon and the spring intermonsoon periods are minor. The abundant phytoplankton caused by the upwelling off India during the southwest monsoon remains essentially restricted to the shelf, but there are occasional large, zonal outbreaks into the Laccadive Sea, as well as others advected to the south of India. Visual inspection of the raw CZCS scenes for June through November 1982–1985, with almost no data until August or even September, shows such outbreaks of pigment-rich water to be common. Inspection of monthly SeaWiFS images for 1997 through part of 2001 confirms the absence of indigenous phytoplankton blooms.
Volume 131, 2022
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