Spatial variability of summer hydrography in the central Arabian Gulf
Abstract: The Arabian Gulf is a very significant ocean body, which hosts more than 55% of the oil reserves of the world and produces about 30% of the total production, and thus, it is likely to face high risk and adverse problems by the intensified environmental stressors and severe climatic changes. Therefore, understanding the hydrography of the Gulf is very essential to identify various marine environmental issues and subsequently, developing marine protection and management plans. In this study, hydrography data collected at 11 stations along 3 linear transects in the early summer of 2016 were analyzed. The physicochemical parameters exhibited apparent variations along each transect, both laterally and vertically, connected to stratification, formation of different water masses and excessive heating. The temperature and salinity decreased laterally from nearshore to offshore, while layered density structures were identified in the offshore regions. The pH, dissolved oxygen (DO) and chlorophyll fluorescence (Fo) exhibited distinct horizontal and vertical variations. The observed pH is within the normal ranges, indicating that seawater acidification may not be a threat. The highest DO (6.13–8.37 mg/l) was observed in a layer of 24-36 m water depth in the deeper regions of the central transect.
Keywords: Arabian Gulf / Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Qatar / Physicochemical parameters / Water masses / Stratification
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