Physical and biological modeling in the Gulf Stream region: Part II. Physical and biological processes
Anderson, L.A.; Robinson, A.R.
Deep-Sea Research Part I Oceanographic Research Papers 48(5): 1139-1168
Mesoscale physical and biological processes are examined at the Gulf Stream front by means of a 4-D simulation including physical and biological data assimilation. The data assimilated are from Leg 1 of the Fall BIOSYNOP cruise, 21 Sept.-8 Oct. 1988, and GULFCAST data for the same period. Focus is on the vertical velocities at the front, the vertical and horizontal transports of nutrients and plankton, and the impact of these transports on phytoplankton biomass, production and organic particle export. It was found that while jet meandering enhances new production at the front, primary production and phytoplankton concentration at the front are not significantly enhanced over those of Slope water. Winds during this period also have little impact on productivity at the front, due to their high temporal variability. Ring-stream interactions, however, significantly increase the net vertical and meridional transports of nutrients and plankton and can lead to phytoplankton patchiness at the front. This emphasizes the importance of submesoscale events between interacting mesoscale physical features in the transport of nutrients and plankton, and in explaining the observations. The enhanced phytoplankton concentrations observed during BIOSYNOP are found to be primarily due to advection (convergence) rather than in situ biological growth.