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

Analytical Method

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 2018, 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)
300 7.70 35.1 49.3 15.25 227
301 37.91 23.4 40.9 13.75 481
303 53.32 18.9 35.5 13.50 651
304 47.11 18.6 44.5 14.00 639
305 48.78 17.7 38.5 14.75 536
306 28.78 19.7 39.7 11.75 506
307 28.99 22.0 46.7 15.75 410


The depth-integrated (0-200m) results of the 14C incubations and pigment determinations for samples collected from CTD casts in 2018 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 30 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 30 year data set is 530 ± 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).