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Modelling the Gibraltar Strait/Western Alboran Sea ecohydrodynamics

Modelling the Gibraltar Strait/Western Alboran Sea ecohydrodynamics
Modelling the Gibraltar Strait/Western Alboran Sea ecohydrodynamics
The ecohydrodynamics of the Gibraltar Strait and the Western Alboran Sea is investigated using a 3-D, two-way nested, coupled hydrodynamic/plankton ecosystem model, exploiting the MEDATLAS climatological database. A high-resolution model (~1 km) of the Gibraltar/Western Alboran region embedded within a coarse-resolution model of the West Mediterranean (~5 km) is implemented. The model seasonal climatology of the 3-D circulation and the flow characteristics at the Gibraltar Strait and the Alboran Sea are discussed, and their impact on the plankton ecosystem evolution is explored. An important ecohydrodynamic feature produced by the model is a permanent upwelling zone in the northwestern part of the Alboran Sea in agreement with observations. Model results show that both horizontal and vertical current intensity of the Atlantic Jet increases progressively at the strait to obtain maximum values in the northeastern Mediterranean entrance, inducing an upward displacement of the nitracline. The nutrient-rich water transport through the strait along with the generation of cyclonic vorticity in the northwestern Alboran Sea result in the accumulation of nutrients there and thus induce a permanent fertilisation of this area.
Gibraltar Strait, Alboran Sea, Currents, Phytoplankton, Modelling
1616-7341
489-508
Skliris, Nikolaos
07af7484-2e14-49aa-9cd3-1979ea9b064e
Beckers, Jean-Marie
f4167631-d515-4f60-b41e-70551cae8a5d
Skliris, Nikolaos
07af7484-2e14-49aa-9cd3-1979ea9b064e
Beckers, Jean-Marie
f4167631-d515-4f60-b41e-70551cae8a5d

Skliris, Nikolaos and Beckers, Jean-Marie (2009) Modelling the Gibraltar Strait/Western Alboran Sea ecohydrodynamics. Ocean Dynamics, 59 (3), 489-508. (doi:10.1007/s10236-009-0185-6).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The ecohydrodynamics of the Gibraltar Strait and the Western Alboran Sea is investigated using a 3-D, two-way nested, coupled hydrodynamic/plankton ecosystem model, exploiting the MEDATLAS climatological database. A high-resolution model (~1 km) of the Gibraltar/Western Alboran region embedded within a coarse-resolution model of the West Mediterranean (~5 km) is implemented. The model seasonal climatology of the 3-D circulation and the flow characteristics at the Gibraltar Strait and the Alboran Sea are discussed, and their impact on the plankton ecosystem evolution is explored. An important ecohydrodynamic feature produced by the model is a permanent upwelling zone in the northwestern part of the Alboran Sea in agreement with observations. Model results show that both horizontal and vertical current intensity of the Atlantic Jet increases progressively at the strait to obtain maximum values in the northeastern Mediterranean entrance, inducing an upward displacement of the nitracline. The nutrient-rich water transport through the strait along with the generation of cyclonic vorticity in the northwestern Alboran Sea result in the accumulation of nutrients there and thus induce a permanent fertilisation of this area.

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More information

Published date: June 2009
Keywords: Gibraltar Strait, Alboran Sea, Currents, Phytoplankton, Modelling
Organisations: Physical Oceanography

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 365215
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/365215
ISSN: 1616-7341
PURE UUID: e3e37e35-ada7-4e9b-8ae3-1c26fd30ac47

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 28 May 2014 09:07
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 02:23

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