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Turbulent eddies and their implications for phytoplankton within the euphotic zone of Lake Biwa, Japan


Turbulent eddies and their implications for phytoplankton within the euphotic zone of Lake Biwa, Japan



Japanese Journal of Limnology 57(4 Part 2): 395-410



ISSN/ISBN: 0021-5104

Profiles of temperature-gradient microstructure were obtained from late August to mid-September, 1993, in Lake Biwa, Japan, as part of BITEX'93. These profiles were used to characterize the turbulence and extent of vertical circulations of phytoplankton in the euphotic zone of this mesotrophic take. Overturning scales and the percentage of the upper mixed layer that was mixing were strongly dependent upon meteorological forcing. From midmorning to mid-afternoon of days with maximum insolation exceeding 0.87 kW cntdot m-2 and wind speeds less than 3 m cntdot sec-1, maximum overturning scales were on the order of 1 m in vertical extent and the average size of overturns was on the order of 0.2 m. Maximum overturns were on scales of 1 to 10 m in the North Basin and 1 m to the depth of the lake in the shallower South Basin when hourly wind speeds persistently exceeded 4 m cntdot sec-1. Overturning scales were similar to those in windy periods in measurements taken at night, in early morning, and late afternoon when irradiances were less than 0.5 kW cntdot M-2. Within the South Basin, lateral intrusions of cold water sometimes reduced the depth of penetration of turbulence due to heat loss at the air-water interface. In such cases, nutrient fluxes from waters near the sediment-water interface would be reduced. From late morning to midafternoon on calm days, phytoplankton would circulate over at most 10% of the euphotic zone in the North Basin, 20% in the South. During high winds, or when solar irradiance was low, phytoplankton were circulated in overturns of varying sizes with some equal to or exceeding the depth of the euphotic zone.

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