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See detailPhytoplankton community dynamics during late spring coccolithophore blooms at the continental margin of the Celtic Sea (North East Atlantic, 2006–2008)
Van Oostende, Nicolas; Harlay, Jérôme ULg; Vanelslander, Bart et al

in Progress in Oceanography (2012), 114

We determined the spatial and temporal dynamics of major phytoplankton groups in relation to biogeochemical and physical variables during the late spring coccolithophore blooms (May-June) along and across ... [more ▼]

We determined the spatial and temporal dynamics of major phytoplankton groups in relation to biogeochemical and physical variables during the late spring coccolithophore blooms (May-June) along and across the continental margin of the northern Bay of Biscay (2006-2008). Photosynthetic biomass (Chla) of the dominant plankton groups was determined by CHEMTAX analysis of HPLC pigment signatures. We used uni- and multivariate statistical techniques to identify the main physical and biogeochemical variables underlying the variation in phytoplankton biomass and community structure. Phytoplankton standing stock biomass varied substantially between and during the campaigns (areal Chla (mg Chla m-2) in June 2006: 63.8 ± 26.5, May 2007: 27.9 ± 8.4, and May 2008: 41.3 ± 21.8), reflecting the different prevailing weather, irradiance, and sea surface temperature conditions between the campaigns. Coccolithophores, represented mainly by Emiliania huxleyi, and diatoms were the dominant phytoplankton groups, with a maximal contribution of, respectively, 72% and 89% of the total Chla. Prasinophytes, dinoflagellates, and chrysophytes often co-occurred during coccolithophorid blooms, while diatoms dominated the phytoplankton biomass independently of the abundance of other groups. The location of the stations on the shelf or on the slope side of the continental margin did not influence the biomass and the composition of the phytoplankton community despite significantly stronger water column stratification and lower nutrient concentrations on the shelf. The alternation between diatom and coccolithophorid blooms of similar biomasses, following the mostly diatom-dominated main spring bloom, was partly driven by changes in nutrient stoichiometry (N:P and dSi:N). High concentrations of transparent exopolymer particles (TEP) were associated with stratified, coccolithophore-rich water masses, which probably originated from the slope of the continental margin and warmed during advection onto the shelf. Although we did not determine the proportion of export production attributed to phytoplankton groups, the abundance of coccolithophores, TEP, and coccoliths may affect the carbon export efficiency through increased sinking rates of particles formed by aggregation of TEP and coccoliths. [less ▲]

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See detailSeasonal and inter-annual variability of air-sea CO2 fluxes and seawater carbonate chemistry in the Southern North Sea
Gypens, N.; Lacroix, G.; Lancelot, C. et al

in Progress in Oceanography (2011), 88

A 3D coupled biogeochemical–hydrodynamic model (MIRO-CO2&CO) is implemented in the English Channel (ECH) and the Southern Bight of the North Sea (SBNS) to estimate the present-day spatio-temporal ... [more ▼]

A 3D coupled biogeochemical–hydrodynamic model (MIRO-CO2&CO) is implemented in the English Channel (ECH) and the Southern Bight of the North Sea (SBNS) to estimate the present-day spatio-temporal distribution of air–sea CO2 fluxes, surface water partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) and other components of the carbonate system (pH, saturation state of calcite (Xca) and of aragonite (Xar)), and the main drivers of their variability. Over the 1994–2004 period, air–sea CO2 fluxes show significant interannual variability, with oscillations between net annual CO2 sinks and sources. The inter annual variability of air–sea CO2 fluxes simulated in the SBNS is controlled primarily by river loads and changes of biological activities (net autotrophy in spring and early summer, and net heterotrophy in winter and autumn), while in areas less influenced by river inputs such as the ECH, the inter annual variations of air–sea CO2 fluxes are mainly due to changes in sea surface temperature and in near-surface wind strength and direction. In the ECH, the decrease of pH, of Xca and of Xar follows the one expected from the increase of atmospheric CO2 (ocean acidification), but the decrease of these quantities in the SBNS during the considered time period is faster than the one expected from ocean acidification alone. This seems to be related to a general pattern of decreasing nutrient river loads and net ecosystem production (NEP) in the SBNS. Annually, the combined effect of carbon and nutrient loads leads to an increase of the sink of CO2 in the ECH and the SBNS, but the impact of the river loads varies spatially and is stronger in river plumes and nearshore waters than in offshore waters. The impact of organic and inorganic carbon (C) inputs is mainly confined to the coast and generates a source of CO2 to the atmosphere and low pH, of Xca and of Xar values in estuarine plumes, while the impact of nutrient loads, highest than the effect of C inputs in coastal nearshore waters, also propagates offshore and, by stimulating primary production, drives a sink of atmospheric CO2 and higher values of pH, of Xca and of Xar. [less ▲]

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See detailBiogeochemical study of a coccolithophore bloom in the northern Bay of Biscay (NE Atlantic Ocean) in June 2004
Harlay, Jérôme ULg; Borges, Alberto ULg; Van Der Zee, Claar et al

in Progress in Oceanography (2010), 86(3-4), 317-336

The present paper synthesizes data obtained during a multidisciplinary cruise carried out in June 2004 at the continental margin of the northern Bay of Biscay. The data-set allows to describe the ... [more ▼]

The present paper synthesizes data obtained during a multidisciplinary cruise carried out in June 2004 at the continental margin of the northern Bay of Biscay. The data-set allows to describe the different stages of a coccolithophore bloom dominated by Emiliania huxleyi. The cruise was carried out after the main spring phytoplankton bloom that started in mid-April and peaked in mid-May. Consequently, low phosphate (PO4<0.2 μM) and silicate (DSi<2.0 μM) concentrations, low partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO2) and high calcite saturation degree in surface waters combined with thermal stratification, probably favoured the blooming of coccolithophores. During the period of the year our cruise was carried out, internal tides induce enhanced vertical mixing at the continental shelf break leading to the injection of inorganic nutrients to surface waters that probably trigger the bloom. The bloom developed as the water-column stratified and as the water mass was advected over the continental shelf, following the general residual circulation in the area. The most developed phase of the bloom was sampled in a remote sensed high reflectance (HR) patch over the continental shelf that was characterized by low chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) concentration in surface waters (<1.0 μg L-1), high particulate inorganic carbon (PIC) concentration (~8 μmol L-1) and coccolithophore abundance up to 57×106 cells L-1. Transparent exopolymer particles (TEP) concentrations ranged between 15 and 120 μg Xeq L-1 and carbon content of TEP represented up to 26% of the particulate organic carbon (POC; maximum concentration of 15.5 μmol L-1 in the upper 40 m). Integrated primary production (PP) ranged between 210 mg C m-2 d-1 and 680 mg C m-2 d-1 and integrated calcification (CAL) ranged between 14 and 140 mg C m-2 d-1, within the range of PP and CAL values previously reported during coccolithophore blooms in open and shelf waters of the North Atlantic Ocean. Bacterial protein production (BPP) measurements in surface waters (0.3 to 0.7 μg C L-1 h-1) were much higher than those reported during early phases of coccolithophore blooms in natural conditions, but similar to those during peak and declining coocolithophorid blooms reported in mesocosms. Total alkalinity anomalies with respect to conservative mixing (ΔTA) down to -49 μmol kg-1 are consistent with the occurrence of biogenic precipitation of calcite, while pCO2 remained 15 to 107 μatm lower than atmospheric equilibrium (372 μatm). The correlation between ΔTA and pCO2 suggested that pCO2 increased in part due to calcification, but this increase was insufficient to overcome the background under-saturation of CO2. This is related to the biogeochemical history of the water masses due to net carbon fixation by the successive phytoplankton 2 [less ▲]

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See detailSuper-Ensemble techniques: application to surface drift prediction
Vandenbulcke, Luc ULg; Beckers, Jean-Marie ULg; Lenartz, Fabian ULg et al

in Progress in Oceanography (2009), 82(3), 149-167

The prediction of surface drift of floating objects is an important task, with applications such as marine transport, pollutant dispersion, and search-and-rescue activities. But forecasting even the drift ... [more ▼]

The prediction of surface drift of floating objects is an important task, with applications such as marine transport, pollutant dispersion, and search-and-rescue activities. But forecasting even the drift of surface waters is very challenging, because it depends on complex interactions of currents driven by the wind, the wave field and the general prevailing circulation. Furthermore, although each of those can be forecasted by deterministic models, the latter all suffer from limitations, resulting in imperfect predictions. In the present study, we try and predict the drift of two buoys launched during the DART06 (Dynamics of the Adriatic sea in Real-Time 2006) and MREA07 (Maritime Rapid Environmental Assessment 2007) sea trials, using the so-called hyper-ensemble technique: different models are combined in order to minimize departure from independent observations during a training period; the obtained combination is then used in forecasting mode. We review and try out different hyper-ensemble techniques, such as the simple ensemble mean, least-squares weighted linear combinations, and techniques based on data assimilation, which dynamically update the model’s weights in the combination when new observations become available. We show that the latter methods alleviate the need of fixing the training length a priori, as older information is automatically discarded. When the forecast period is relatively short (12 h), the discussed methods lead to much smaller forecasting errors compared with individual models (at least three times smaller), with the dynamic methods leading to the best results. When many models are available, errors can be further reduced by removing colinearities between them by performing a principal component analysis. At the same time, this reduces the amount of weights to be determined. In complex environments when meso- and smaller scale eddy activity is strong, such as the Ligurian Sea, the skill of individual models may vary over time periods smaller than the forecasting period (e.g. when the latter is 36 h). In these cases, a simpler method such as a fixed linear combination or a simple ensemble mean may lead to the smallest forecast errors. In environments where surface currents have strong mean-kinetic energies (e.g. the Western Adriatic Current), dynamic methods can be particularly successful in predicting the drift of surface waters. In any case, the dynamic hyper-ensemble methods allow to estimate a characteristic time during which the model weights are more or less stable, which allows predicting how long the obtained combination will be valid in forecasting mode, and hence to choose which hyper-ensemble method one should use. [less ▲]

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See detailNumerical modeling of the deep Black Sea ecosystem functioning during the late 80’s (eutrophication phase)
Grégoire, Marilaure ULg; Raick, Caroline ULg; Soetaert, Karline

in Progress in Oceanography (2008), 76(9), 286-333

A one-dimensional coupled physical–biogeochemical model has been developed to simulate the ecosystem of the central Black Sea at the end of the 1980s when eutrophication and invasion by gelatinous ... [more ▼]

A one-dimensional coupled physical–biogeochemical model has been developed to simulate the ecosystem of the central Black Sea at the end of the 1980s when eutrophication and invasion by gelatinous organisms seriously affected the stability and dynamics of the system. The physical model is the General Ocean Turbulence Model (GOTM) and the biogeochemical model describes the foodweb from bacteria to gelatinous carnivores through 24 state variables including three groups of phytoplankton: diatoms, small phototrophic flagellates and dinoflagellates, two zooplankton groups: micro- and mesozooplankton, two groups of gelatinous zooplankton: the omnivorous and carnivorous forms, an explicit representation of the bacterial loop: bacteria, labile and semi-labile dissolved organic matter, particulate organic matter. The model simulates oxygen, nitrogen, silicate and carbon cycling. In addition, an innovation of this model is that it explicitly represents processes in the anoxic layer. Biogeochemical processes in anaerobic conditions have been represented using an approach similar to that used in the modeling of diagenetic processes in the sediments lumping together all the reduced substances in one state variable [Soetaert, K., Herman, P., 1996. A model of early diagenetic processes from the shelf to abyssal depths. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 60 (6) 1019–1040]. In this way, processes in the upper oxygenated layer are fully coupled with anaerobic processes in the deep waters, allowing to perform longterm simulations. The mathematical modeling of phytoplankton and zooplankton dynamics, detritus and the microbial loop is based on the model developed by Van den Meersche et al. [Van den Meersche, K., Middelburg, J., Soetaert, K., van Rijswijk P.H.B., Heip, C., 2004. Carbon–nitrogen coupling and algal–bacterial interactions during an experimental bloom: Modeling a 13c tracer experiment. Limnology and Oceanography 49 (3), 862–878] and tested in the modeling of mesocosm experiments and of the Ligurian sea ecosystem [Raick, C., Delhez, E., Soetaert, K., Gregoire, M., 2005. Study of the seasonal cycle of the biogeochemical processes in the Ligurian sea using an 1D interdisciplinary model. Journal of Marine Systems 55 (3–4) 177–203]. This model has been extended to simulate the development of top predators, the aggregation of detritus as well as the degradation and chemical processes in suboxic/anoxic conditions (e.g. denitrification, anoxic remineralization, redox reactions). The coupled model extends down to the sediments (’2000 m depth) and is forced at the air–sea interface by the 6 hourly ERA-40 reanalysis of ECMWF data. The model has been calibrated and validated using a large set of data available in the Black Sea TU Ocean Base. The biogeochemical model involves some hundred parameters which are first calibrated by hand using published values. Then, an identifiability analysis has been performed in order to determine a subset of identifiable parameters (i.e. ensemble of parameters that can be together estimated from the amount of data we have at our disposal, see later in the text). Also a subset of 10 identifiable parameters was isolated and an automatic calibration subroutine (Levenberg Marquart) has been used to fine tune these parameters. Additionally, in order to assess the sensitivity of model results to the parameterization of the two gelatinous groups, Monte Carlo simulations were performed perturbing all the parameters governing their dynamics. In order to calibrate the particle dynamics and export, the chemical model was run off-line with the particle and microbial loop model in order to check its capacity of simulating anoxic waters. After a 104 year run, the model simulated NH4 and H2S profiles similar to observations but steady state was not reached suggesting that the Black Sea deep waters are not at steady state. The fully coupled model was then used to simulate the period 1988–1992 of the Black Sea ecosystem. The model solution exhibits a complex dynamics with several years of transient adjustment. This complexity is imparted by the explicit modeling of top predators. The integrated chlorophyll and phytoplankton biomasses, the maximum concentration and depth of maximum, mesozooplankton biomass, depth of oxycline, primary production, bacterial production, surface concentrations of nutrients and plankton simulated by the model and obtained from available data analysis were compared and showed a satisfactory agreement. Also, as in the data, the model shows a continuous development of phytoplankton throughout the year, with an intense spring bloom dominated by diatoms and a fall bloom dominated by dinoflagellates. Dinoflagellates dominate from summer until late fall while small phototrophic flagellates are never dominant in terms of biomass, but are present almost throughout the year except in winter. The model simulates an intense silicate removal associated to increased diatoms blooms which were promoted by increased nutrient conditions, and by the presence of gelatinous zooplankton. This silicate pumping leads to silicate limitation of diatoms development in summer allowing the development of dinoflagellates. [less ▲]

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See detailModel complexity and performance: How far can we simplify?
Raick, Caroline ULg; Soetaert, Karline; Grégoire, Marilaure ULg

in Progress in Oceanography (2006), 70(1), 27-57

Handling model complexity and reliability is a key area of research today. While complex models containing sufficient detail have become possible due to increased computing power, they often lead to too ... [more ▼]

Handling model complexity and reliability is a key area of research today. While complex models containing sufficient detail have become possible due to increased computing power, they often lead to too much uncertainty. On the other hand, very simple models often crudely oversimplify the real ecosystem and can not be used for management purposes. Starting from a complex and validated 1D pelagic ecosystem model of the Ligurian Sea (NW Mediterranean Sea), we derived simplified aggregated models in which either the unbalanced algal growth, the functional group diversity or the explicit description of the microbial loop was sacrificed. To overcome the problem of data availability with adequate spatial and temporal resolution, the outputs of the complex model are used as the baseline of perfect knowledge to calibrate the simplified models. Objective criteria of model performance were used to compare the simplified models' results to the complex model output and to the available data at the DYFAMED station in the central Ligurian Sea. We show that even the simplest (NPZD) model is able to represent the global ecosystem features described by the complex model (e.g. primary and secondary productions, particulate organic matter export flux, etc.). However, a certain degree of sophistication in the formulation of some biogeochemical processes is required to produce realistic behaviors (e.g. the phytoplankton competition, the potential carbon or nitrogen limitation of the zooplankton ingestion, the model trophic closure, etc.). In general, a 9 state-variable model that has the functional group diversity removed, but which retains the bacterial loop and the unbalanced algal growth, performs best. (C) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. [less ▲]

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See detailTwo-way nested model of mesoscale circulation features in the Ligurian Sea
Barth, Alexander ULg; Alvera Azcarate, Aïda ULg; Rixen, Michel et al

in Progress in Oceanography (2005), 66(2-4), 171-189

A coarse resolution primitive equation model of 1/4 degrees resolution is implemented covering the whole Mediterranea Sea. Within this grid a 1/20 degrees resolution model of the Liguro-Provencal basin ... [more ▼]

A coarse resolution primitive equation model of 1/4 degrees resolution is implemented covering the whole Mediterranea Sea. Within this grid a 1/20 degrees resolution model of the Liguro-Provencal basin and the northern part of the Tyrrhenian Sea is embedded. A third fine resolution model of 1/60 degrees is nested in the latter one and simulates the dynamics of the Ligurian Sea. Comparisons between one-way and two-way nesting in simulating the Northern Current (NC) are made. The properties of the Eastern and Western Corsican Current and the Northern Current are investigated with this nesting system. Special attention is given to the variability of the NC. Meanders and interactions with Winter Intermediate Water lenses are shown. Topographic features also lead to a highly variable NC. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Portugal coastal counter current off NW Spain: new insights on its biogeochemical variability
Alvarez-Salgado, Xosé Antón; Figueiras, F. G.; Perez, F. F. et al

in Progress in Oceanography (2003), 56(2), 281-321

Time series of wind-stress data, AVHRR and SeaWiFS satellite images, and in situ data from seven cruises are used to assemble a coherent picture of the hydrographic variability of the seas off the ... [more ▼]

Time series of wind-stress data, AVHRR and SeaWiFS satellite images, and in situ data from seven cruises are used to assemble a coherent picture of the hydrographic variability of the seas off the Northwest Iberian Peninsula from the onset (September-October) to the cessation (February-May) of the Portugal coastal counter current (PCCC). During this period the chemistry and the biology of the shelf, slope and ocean waters between 40degrees and 43degreesN have previously been undersampled. Novel information extracted from these observations relate to: 1. The most frequent modes of variability of the alongshore coastal winds, covering event, seasonal and long-term scales; 2. The conspicuous cycling between stratification and homogenisation observed in PCCC waters, which has key implications for the chemistry and biology of these waters; 3. The seasonal evolution of nitrite profiles in PCCC waters in relation to the stratification cycle; 4. The Redfield stoichiometry of the remineralisation of organic matter in Eastern North Atlantic Central Water (ENACW)-the water mass being transported by the PCCC; 5. The separation of coastal (mesotrophic) from PCCC (oligotrophic) planktonic populations by a downwelling front along the shelf, which oscillates to and fro across the shelf as a function of coastal wind intensity and continental runoff; and 6. The photosynthetic responses of the PCCC and coastal plankton populations to the changing stratification and light conditions from the onset to the cessation of the PCCC. [less ▲]

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See detailOff Shelf Fluxes of Labile Materials by an Upwelling Filament in the NW Iberian Upwelling System
Alvarez-Salgado, Xosé Antón; Doval, M. D.; Borges, Alberto ULg et al

in Progress in Oceanography (2001), 50(2-4), 321-337

Daily changes in the concentrations of carbon and nitrogen species were monitored during the course of a Lagrangian drifter experiment in a recurrent upwelling filament south of Cape Finisterre (NW ... [more ▼]

Daily changes in the concentrations of carbon and nitrogen species were monitored during the course of a Lagrangian drifter experiment in a recurrent upwelling filament south of Cape Finisterre (NW Iberian Upwelling System). A drifting buoy released at the southern edge of the upwelling centre generated by the Cape moved 60km southwestwards from 3 to 7 August 1998. Organic matter in the 50m deep study water mass (average 77±2 μM C) consisted of: 57μM C of dissolved organic matter (DOM) with a C/N molar ratio of 19±2; 6μM C of DOM with a C/N ratio of 9±2, and 14μM C of 50% DOM and 50% suspended organic matter (POMsusp) with a C/N ratio of 6.0±0.4. Net conversion of consumed inorganic salts into accumulated TOM=POMsusp+DOM was 40% for nitrogen and 30% for carbon. Since the parcel of water crossed the shelf-edge, these conversion efficiencies are equivalent to net horizontal export-ratio of 0.4 and 0.3 respectively. A second drifter was deployed in the offshore-end of the filament, and was displaced 20km west between 14 and 17 August 1998. Nitrate was exhausted in the surface water and no significant changes were observed in the variables measured during the course of the second experiment. Low C/N ratios (6.5±0.4) and rapid POMsusp/DOM inter-conversion in the 20 μM C excess observed in the study volume points to the persistence of the labile materials formed on the shelf during transport to the ocean. Our data demonstrate a) the key role of upwelling filaments in off-shelf export of organic materials and b) the major contribution of DOM to this horizontal export, a previously unaccounted amount. [less ▲]

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See detailShort-term variations of the partial pressure of CO2 in surface waters of the Galician upwelling system
Borges, Alberto ULg; Frankignoulle, Michel

in Progress in Oceanography (2001), 50(2-4), 283-302

The partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) and dissolved oxygen saturation level (%O2) were monitored continuously during a cruise in August 1998, which sampled surface waters off the Galician coast. Data are ... [more ▼]

The partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) and dissolved oxygen saturation level (%O2) were monitored continuously during a cruise in August 1998, which sampled surface waters off the Galician coast. Data are presented from two Lagrangian experiments carried out in an upwelling on the continental shelf and in the core of an offshore filament. The data show that daily variations in surface pCO2 and oxygen (%O2) were controlled by the diurnal cycle of primary production/respiration, temperature variations and air–sea exchange. Data obtained during various cross-shelf and cross-filament transects are also discussed and give an insight into the processes controlling large scale variations of pCO2 and %O2 in the Galician upwelling system. These data suggest that upwelling filaments are an important feature of the inorganic carbon cycle of upwelling systems. However more field data in the various eastern boundary current systems worldwide are needed. [less ▲]

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See detailCarbon and nitrogen cycling within the Bering/Chukchi Seas: source regions for organic matter affecting AOU demands of the Artic Ocean
Walsh, J. J.; McRoy, C. P.; Coachman, L. K. et al

in Progress in Oceanography (1989), 22(4), 277-359

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