Hawaii Ocean Time-series (HOT)
in the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa

Primary Production

Primary Production array
FTP View Data
Methods View Method
To assist in the interpretation of the data, it can be displayed using the Hawaii Ocean Time-series Data Organization & Graphical System (HOT-DOGS©).

Sampling Procedure

Photosynthetic production of organic matter was measured by the 14C tracer method. All incubations from 1990 through mid-2000 were conducted in situ at eight depths (5, 25, 45, 75, 100, 125, 150 and 175m) over one daylight period using a free-drifting array as described by Winn et al. (1991). Starting HOT-119 (October 2000), we collected samples from only the upper six depths & modeled the lower two depths based on the monthly climatology. During 2021, all incubations were conducted in situ on a free floating, surface tethered array. Integrated carbon assimilation rates were calculated using the trapezoid rule with the shallowest value extended to 0 meters and the deepest extrapolated to a value of zero at 200 meters.

Cruise Incident
(mg m-2)
Light Assimilation
(E m-2 d-1) Chl a Pheo (hrs) (mg C m-2 d-1)
326 32.09 19.7 31.2 14.25 383
327 40.50 22.4 31.4 13.75 567
328 44.35 32.5 45.2 13.50 645
329 50.25 18.5 34.4 14.75 490
330 52.89 24.0 48.1 14.75 817
331 54.98 26.9 38.4 14.75 682
332 50.72 18.8 32.9 14.75 558
333 35.49 19.9 36.0 13.50 566


The depth-integrated (0-200m) results of the 14C incubations and pigment determinations for samples collected from CTD casts in 2021 are presented in the Table above. Also included for each cruise is the incubation duration and the total incident irradiance (400-700 nm) measured on the deck of the ship during the incubation period. Integrated primary production rates measured over all 33 years of the program are shown in Figure 54. A contour plot is shown in Figure 55. Depth-integrated rates of primary production vary seasonally, with summer maxima and winter minima. Overall, primary production varies by approximately a factor of five, ranging from ~200 to 1000 mg C/m2/d. The mean (± sd) depth integrated primary production for the entire 33 year data set is 536 ± 136 mg C/m2/d. Although this value is higher than historical measurements for the oceanic central gyres (Ryther 1969), it is consistent with more recent measurements (Martin et al. 1987; Laws et al. 1989; Knauer et al. 1990).