Realistic ocean mixing and coastal upwelling
in NPZ models

Thomas M. Powell
University of California, Berkeley

Friday, May 7, 1999
12:00 Noon—Pacific Forum (Video Conference from UC Berkeley)

The aims of some coupled physical-biological model studies on the West Coast of North America are sketched. As an example of this work, we explore the complex patterns generated by the non-linear dynamics in a common NPZ model (Franks and Walstad 1997) when coupled to realistic levels of vertical mixing. Formulations for parameter sets that are characteristic of both microzooplankton and macrozooplankton are studied. We compare these results with those found in a simulation of a coastal upwelling event for both the micro- and macro-zooplankton parameters. The spatial scales of the resultant bloom features differ substantially, depending on the zooplankton parameterization. We conclude that the rates of biological processes can have substantial impacts on the spatial patterns of biological productivity, in line with recent observational studies on the West Coast.

Franks, P. and L. Walstad (1997). Journal of Marine Research, 55:1-29.

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Last updated: December 19, 2000