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A numerical model of mesoscale frontal instabilities and plankton dynamics - I. Model formulation and initial experiments

A numerical model of mesoscale frontal instabilities and plankton dynamics - I. Model formulation and initial experiments
A numerical model of mesoscale frontal instabilities and plankton dynamics - I. Model formulation and initial experiments
Previous observational and modelling studies of open ocean frontal regions have found large vertical velocities associated with instabilities on the frontal jet. A combined physical/ecosystem numerical model is used to investigate the impact of jet instability and the associated vertical motions on the local ecosystem. The evolution of the instability of a mesoscale frontal jet gives rise to vertical transport of nutrients into the euphotic zone and subduction of biota out of the euphotic zone. The upwelling of nutrients stimulates increases in primary production, with resulting increases in phytoplankton stocks. The reaction of the ecosystem is found to be dependent on the physical characteristics of the front, but the increase in primary production can be locally of the order of 100%, and of the order of 10% when averaged over the frontal region. The action of upwelling and subduction introduces spatial heterogeneity in primary production and plankton biomass. The heterogeneity is at a variety of length scales, from the order of a few kilometres for thin filaments and up to 50 km for coherent features. With increases in new production occurring over several degrees of latitude, frontal dynamics may make a significant contribution to the strength of the biological pump.
PLANKTON, JETS, OCEAN FRONT BIOLOGY, ECOSYSTEMS, MATHEMATICAL MODELS, POPULATION DYNAMICS, PRIMARY PRODUCTION, BIOLOGICAL OCEANOGRAPHY
0967-0637
1261-1301
Spall, S.A.
86582278-2827-4cab-9ba0-501b7a57189d
Richards, K.J.
fbeeea4f-7891-417a-a30d-182dd90916f9
Spall, S.A.
86582278-2827-4cab-9ba0-501b7a57189d
Richards, K.J.
fbeeea4f-7891-417a-a30d-182dd90916f9

Spall, S.A. and Richards, K.J. (2000) A numerical model of mesoscale frontal instabilities and plankton dynamics - I. Model formulation and initial experiments. Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers, 47 (7), 1261-1301. (doi:10.1016/S0967-0637(99)00081-3).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Previous observational and modelling studies of open ocean frontal regions have found large vertical velocities associated with instabilities on the frontal jet. A combined physical/ecosystem numerical model is used to investigate the impact of jet instability and the associated vertical motions on the local ecosystem. The evolution of the instability of a mesoscale frontal jet gives rise to vertical transport of nutrients into the euphotic zone and subduction of biota out of the euphotic zone. The upwelling of nutrients stimulates increases in primary production, with resulting increases in phytoplankton stocks. The reaction of the ecosystem is found to be dependent on the physical characteristics of the front, but the increase in primary production can be locally of the order of 100%, and of the order of 10% when averaged over the frontal region. The action of upwelling and subduction introduces spatial heterogeneity in primary production and plankton biomass. The heterogeneity is at a variety of length scales, from the order of a few kilometres for thin filaments and up to 50 km for coherent features. With increases in new production occurring over several degrees of latitude, frontal dynamics may make a significant contribution to the strength of the biological pump.

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More information

Published date: 2000
Keywords: PLANKTON, JETS, OCEAN FRONT BIOLOGY, ECOSYSTEMS, MATHEMATICAL MODELS, POPULATION DYNAMICS, PRIMARY PRODUCTION, BIOLOGICAL OCEANOGRAPHY

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 8841
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/8841
ISSN: 0967-0637
PURE UUID: bf213d02-d5d2-4da4-a83c-787d2efd90a3

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Date deposited: 13 Sep 2004
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 17:12

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