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See detailOn the concept of exposure time
Delhez, Eric ULg

in Continental Shelf Research (2013), 71

The concept of exposure time offers an interesting alternative to the residence time for the quantitative assessment of the water renewal of estuaries and semi-enclosed basins. It can cope with the ... [more ▼]

The concept of exposure time offers an interesting alternative to the residence time for the quantitative assessment of the water renewal of estuaries and semi-enclosed basins. It can cope with the oscillations or meandering of the flow around the boundary of the control domain and is therefore particularly suited for tidal seas and sub-basins with strong mesoscale activity. We show however that the exposure time in a control domain \omega cannot be properly defined if \omega is part of a larger bounded system unless some removal process is taken into account. It is therefore suggested to revise and extend the definition of the exposure time by including a first order decay : ``the exposure time for the rate constant \lambda is the total time spent in a control domain \omega by particles subject to a first order decay with a rate constant $\lambda$, irrespective of their possible excursions in and out the control domain''. The exposure time revised in this way is well-defined in all circumstances provided that the decay rate differs from zero but depends on the rate constant \lambda. Alternatively, in order to diagnose the movement of water masses, the first order decay can be considered only outside the control domain. [less ▲]

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See detailContribution of combined carbohydrates to dissolved and particulate organic carbon after the spring bloom in the northern Bay of Biscay (North-Eastern Atlantic Ocean)
Engel, Anja; Harlay, Jérôme ULg; Piontek, Judith et al

in Continental Shelf Research (2012), 45

Two cruises were conducted after the diatom spring bloom in the northern Bay of Biscay (2006, 2007), to assess the contribution of combined carbohydrates to organic carbon partitioning. Partitioning of ... [more ▼]

Two cruises were conducted after the diatom spring bloom in the northern Bay of Biscay (2006, 2007), to assess the contribution of combined carbohydrates to organic carbon partitioning. Partitioning of total organic carbon (TOC) into particulate organic carbon (POC) and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) differed between the two years, particularly for depths above 60 m, and was related to the vernal development of the system: a post spring-bloom system in 2007, and a more stratified summer system with higher coccolithophore abundance in 2006. In general, contribution of POC to TOC ranged between 4 and 28% and decreased with depth. Concentration of high molecular weight (>1 kDa) dissolved combined carbohydrates (dCCHO) ranged from 0.6 to 1.4 µmol L−1 and contributed between 4 and 11% to DOC. Concentration of particulate combined carbohydrates (pCCHO) varied between 0.03 and 1.3 µmol L−1. A high contribution of pCCHO to POC was observed in 2007, i.e. 22–60% C compared to 3–10% C in 2006, and coincided with a higher abundance of transparent exopolymer particles (TEP). TEP accounted for 0.4–2.0 µmol C L−1 in 2007 and 0.5–1.5 µmol C L−1 in 2006. Above 60 m, differences in contribution of TEP-C to POC were most pronounced yielding 15.4±3.0% in 2007 compared to relatively low 4.8±1.4%, in 2006. TEP-C could explain about 60% in 2007 and about 40% of pCCHO-C in 2006. Hence, TEP were identified as a substantial component of pCCHO and POC, particularly in the wake of the spring bloom. Molecular composition of CCHO, i.e. HMW-dCCHO+pCCHO, revealed little difference between the years but strong variation over depth. Uronic acids (URA) were identified as a major component of CCHO (20–40%). Our study indicates that the distribution and composition of CCHO in surface seawater are determined by biogeochemical processes on a seasonal scale. A better knowledge of CCHO cycling and molecular signature has therefore a high potential for a better tracing of carbon dynamics in shelf sea ecosystems. [less ▲]

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See detailThermocline characterisation in the Cariaco basin: A modelling study of the thermocline annual variation and its relation with winds and chlorophyll-a concentration
Alvera Azcarate, Aïda ULg; Barth, Alexander ULg; Weisberg, Robert H. et al

in Continental Shelf Research (2011), 31(1), 73-84

The spatial and temporal evolution of the thermocline depth and width of the Cariaco basin (Venezuela) is analysed by means of a three-dimensional hydrodynamic model. The thermocline depth and width are ... [more ▼]

The spatial and temporal evolution of the thermocline depth and width of the Cariaco basin (Venezuela) is analysed by means of a three-dimensional hydrodynamic model. The thermocline depth and width are determined through the fitting of model temperature profiles to a sigmoid function. The use of whole profiles for the fitting allows for a robust estimation of the thermocline characteristics, mainly width and depth. The fitting method is compared to the maximum gradient approach, and it is shown that, under some circumstances, the method presented in this work leads to a better characterization of the thermocline. After assessing, through comparison with independent {\it in situ} data, the model capabilities to reproduce the Cariaco basin thermocline, the seasonal variability of this variable is analysed, and the relationship between the annual cycle of the thermocline depth, the wind field and the distribution of chlorophyll-a concentration in the basin is studied. The interior of the basin reacts to easterly winds intensification with a rising of the thermocline, resulting in a coastal upwelling response, with the consequent increase in chlorophyll-a concentration. Outside the Cariaco basin, where an open-ocean, oligothrophic regime predominates, wind intensification increases mixing of the surface layers and induces therefore a deepening of the thermocline. The seasonal cycle of the thermocline variability in the Cariaco basin is therefore related to changes in the wind field. At shorter time scales (i.e. days), it is shown that other processes, such as the influence of the meandering Caribbean Current, can also influence the thermocline variability. The model thermocline depth is shown to be in good agreement with the two main ventilation events that took place in the basin during the period of the simulation. [less ▲]

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See detailBenthic remineralization in the northwest European continental margin (northern Bay of Biscay)
Suykens, Kim; Schmidt, Sabine; Delille, Bruno ULg et al

in Continental Shelf Research (2011), 31

We report a dataset of sediment characteristics and biogeochemical fluxes at the watersediment interface at the northwest European continental margin (northern Bay of Biscay). Cores were obtained in June ... [more ▼]

We report a dataset of sediment characteristics and biogeochemical fluxes at the watersediment interface at the northwest European continental margin (northern Bay of Biscay). Cores were obtained in June 2006, May 2007 and 2008, at 18 stations on the shelf break (120 to 180 m), and at 2 stations on the continental slope (520 m and 680 m). Water-sediment fluxes of dissolved oxygen (O2), total alkalinity (TA), nitrate (NO3-), and dissolved silicate (DSi) were measured at a total of 20 stations. Sediment characteristics include: grain size, chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) and phaeopigment (Phaeo) content, particulate organic (POC) and inorganic (PIC) carbon content, and lead-210 (210Pb) and thorium-234 (234Th) activities. Sediments were sandy (fine to coarse) with organic matter (OM) (1.0 - 4.0 %) and Chl-a (0.01 - 0.95 μg g-1) contents comparable to previous investigations in the same region, and a relatively high PIC fraction (0.8 - 10.2 %). Water-sediment O2 fluxes (-2.4 to -8.4 mmol O2 m-2 d-1) were low compared to other coastal environments and correlated well with OM and Chl-a content. 234Th activity profiles indicated that Chl-a sediment content was mainly controlled by physical mixing processes related to local hydrodynamics. The correlation between water-sediment fluxes of O2 and NO3- indicated a close coupling of nitrification/denitrification and total benthic organic carbon degradation. Dissolution of biogenic silica (0.05 to 0.95 mmol m-2 d-1) seemed uncoupled from organic carbon degradation, as characterized by water-sediment O2 fluxes. The link between water-sediment fluxes of TA and O2 indicated the occurrence of metabolic driven dissolution of calcium carbonates (CaCO3) in the sediments (~ 0.33 ± 0.47 mmol m-2 d-1) which represented ~ 1 % of the pelagic calcification rates due to coccolithophores measured during the cruises. These CaCO3 dissolution rates were below those reported in sediments of continental slopes and of the deep ocean, probably due to the high over-saturation with respect to CaCO3 of the water column overlying the continental shelf sediments of the northern Bay of Biscay. Rates of total benthic organic carbon degradation were low compared to water column rates of primary production and aphotic community respiration obtained during the cruises. [less ▲]

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See detailNitrogen and carbon cycling in the North Sea and exchange with the North Atlantic-A model study, Part II: Carbon budget and fluxes
Kuhn, Wilfried; Paetsch, Johannes; Thomas, Helmuth et al

in Continental Shelf Research (2010), 30(16), 1701-1716

The 3-d coupled physical-biogeochemical model ECOHAM (version 3) was applied to the Northwest-European Shelf (47 degrees 41'-63 degrees 53'N, 15 degrees 5'W-13 degrees 55'E) for the years 1993-1996 ... [more ▼]

The 3-d coupled physical-biogeochemical model ECOHAM (version 3) was applied to the Northwest-European Shelf (47 degrees 41'-63 degrees 53'N, 15 degrees 5'W-13 degrees 55'E) for the years 1993-1996. Carbon fluxes were calculated for the years 1995 and 1996 for the inner shelf region, the North Sea (511,725 km(2)). This period was chosen because it corresponds to a shift from a very high winter-time North Atlantic Oscillation Index (NAOI) in 1994/1995, to an extremely low one in 1995/1996, with consequences for the North Sea physics and biogeochemistry. During the first half of 1996, the observed mean SST was about 1 degrees C lower than in 1995; in the southern part of the North Sea the difference was even larger (up to 3 degrees C). Due to a different wind regime, the normally prevailing anti-clockwise circulation, as found in winter 1995, was replaced by more complicated circulation patterns in winter 1996. Decreased precipitation over the drainage area of the continental rivers led to a reduction in the total (inorganic and organic) riverine carbon load to the North Sea from 476 Gmol C yr(-1) in 1995 to 340 Gmol C yr(-1) in 1996. In addition, the North Sea took up 503 Gmol C yr(-1) of CO2 from the atmosphere. According to our calculations, the North Sea was a sink for atmospheric CO2, at a rate of 0.98 mol C m(-2) yr(-1), for both years. The North Sea is divided into two sub-systems: the shallow southern North Sea (SNS; 190,765 km(2)) and the deeper northern North Sea (NNS; 320,960 km2). According to our findings the SNS is a net-autotrophic system (net ecosystem production NEP > 0) but released CO2 to the atmosphere: 159 Gmol C yr(-1) in 1995 and 59 Gmol C yr(-1) in 1996. There, the temperature-driven release of CO2 outcompetes the biological CO2 drawdown. In the NNS, where respiratory processes prevail (NEP < 0), 662 and 562 Gmol C yr(-1) were taken up from the atmosphere in 1995 and 1996. respectively. Stratification separates the productive, upper layer from the deeper layers of the water column where respiration/remineralization takes place. Duration and stability of the stratification are determined by the meteorological conditions, in relation to the NAO. Our results suggest that this mechanism controlling the nutrient supply to the upper layer in the northern and central North Sea has a larger impact on the carbon fluxes than changes in lateral transport due to NAOI variations. The North Sea as a whole imports organic carbon and exports inorganic carbon across the outer boundaries, and was found to be net-heterotrophic, more markedly in 1996 than in 1995. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. [less ▲]

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See detailMechanisms controlling the air-sea CO2 flux in the North Sea
Prowe, F. A. E.; Thomas, H.; Pätsch, J. et al

in Continental Shelf Research (2009), 29

The mechanisms driving the air–sea exchange of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the North Sea are investigated using the three-dimensional coupled physical–biogeochemical model ECOHAM (ECOlogical model, HAMburg ... [more ▼]

The mechanisms driving the air–sea exchange of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the North Sea are investigated using the three-dimensional coupled physical–biogeochemical model ECOHAM (ECOlogical model, HAMburg). We validate our simulations using field data for the years 2001–2002 and identify the controls of the air–sea CO2 flux for two locations representative for the North Sea’s biogeochemical provinces. In the seasonally stratified northern region, net CO2 uptake is high (2:06molm 2 a 1) due to high net community production (NCP) in the surface water. Overflow production releasing semi labile dissolved organic carbon needs to be considered for a realistic simulation of the low dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) concentrations observed during summer. This biologically driven carbon drawdown outcompetes the temperature-driven rise in CO2 partial pressure (pCO2) during the productive season. In contrast, the permanently mixed southern region is a weak net CO2 source (0:78molm 2 a 1). NCP is generally low except for the spring bloom because remineralization parallels primary production. Here, the pCO2 appears to be controlled by temperature. [less ▲]

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See detailBenefit of nesting a regional model into a large-scale ocean model instead of climatology. Application to the West Florida Shelf
Barth, Alexander ULg; Alvera Azcarate, Aïda ULg; Weiberg, R. H.

in Continental Shelf Research (2008), 28(4-5), 561-573

The impact of open boundary conditions on the dynamics and accuracy of a regional West Florida Shelf model is addressed. A ROMS-based model nested in monthly climatological temperature and salinity and in ... [more ▼]

The impact of open boundary conditions on the dynamics and accuracy of a regional West Florida Shelf model is addressed. A ROMS-based model nested in monthly climatological temperature and salinity and in the North Atlantic HYCOM model is implemented. The model results of these nesting implementations are compared to altimetry, in situ temperature time series, and ADCP and high-frequency (HF) radar currents. A significant improvement of the model results is found using the boundary conditions of the HYCOM model over the climatology. The ageostrophic nature of the LC is studied and the benefit using the velocity and surface elevation boundary conditions is shown. (C) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. [less ▲]

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See detailAge and the time lag method
Delhez, Eric ULg; Deleersnijder, Eric

in Continental Shelf Research (2008), 28(8), 1057-1067

The time lag method is one of the most straightforward methods used to estimate transit times from experimental data and is therefore widely used. The transit time between two points is estimated from the ... [more ▼]

The time lag method is one of the most straightforward methods used to estimate transit times from experimental data and is therefore widely used. The transit time between two points is estimated from the analysis of time series taken at these two points that suggest the propagation of a signal from one point to the other. To account for the distortion of the signal during its propagation between the two points an optimum time lag can be estimated by the analysis of the cross-correlation of the two time series. This study clarifies the relation between the transit time estimated by the time lag method and the well-defined concept of the age of a water mass. It is shown, through simplified process models, that the time lag method systematically underestimates the true mean age. The error can be quantified by means of a dimensionless parameter which is the inverse of a Peclet number based on a characteristic length given by the ratio of the velocity of the flow to the frequency of the signal. (c) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. [less ▲]

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See detailUnstructured, anisotropic mesh generation for the Northwestern European continental shelf, the continental slope and the neighbouring ocean
Legrand, Sebastien; Deleersnijder, Eric; Delhez, Eric ULg et al

in Continental Shelf Research (2007), 27(9), 1344-1356

A new mesh refinement strategy for generating high quality unstructured meshes of the Northwestern European continental shelf, the continental slope and the neighbouring ocean is presented. Our objective ... [more ▼]

A new mesh refinement strategy for generating high quality unstructured meshes of the Northwestern European continental shelf, the continental slope and the neighbouring ocean is presented. Our objective is to demonstrate the ability of anisotropic unstructured meshes to adequately address the challenge of simulating the hydrodynamics occurring in these three regions within a unique mesh. The refinement criteria blend several hydrodynamic considerations as the tidal wave propagation on the continental shelf and the hydrostatic consistency condition in steep areas. Several meshes illustrate both the validity and the efficiency of the refinement strategy. The selection of the refinement parameters is discussed. Finally, an attempt is made to take into account tidal ellipses, providing another cause for anisotropy in the mesh. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. [less ▲]

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See detailPlankton dynamics controlled by hydrodynamic processes near a submarine canyon off NW corsican coast: A numerical modelling study
Skliris, Nikolaos ULg; Djenidi, Salim ULg

in Continental Shelf Research (2006), 26(11), 1336-1358

A three-dimensional (3D) non-linear high-resolution hydrodynamic model coupled to a coastal plankton ecosystem model is used to estimate the impact of hydrodynamic processes on the evolution of the spring ... [more ▼]

A three-dimensional (3D) non-linear high-resolution hydrodynamic model coupled to a coastal plankton ecosystem model is used to estimate the impact of hydrodynamic processes on the evolution of the spring phytoplankton bloom in the vicinity of a submarine canyon. Model results for the plankton distribution showed a clear 3D character around and in the canyon, with large horizontal and vertical gradients, induced by the hydrodynamic constraints. Phytoplankton concentrations were significantly larger all along the slope domain with maximum values obtained over the canyon. Upwelling of deep water rich in nitrate takes place both upstream (with respect to the current direction normal to the central axis of the canyon) and downstream of the canyon enhancing primary production. As phytoplankton-rich water enters into the western part of the canyon it is downwelled and trapped by the cyclonic circulation leading to accumulation of phytoplankton biomass there. The effect of wind events was to induce an upward nitrate flux into the upper layer through vertical turbulent diffusion, allowing the start of a short-live phytoplankton bloom. Maximum surface nitrate concentrations were found along the slope and particularly upstream and downstream of the canyon just after the wind stopped. Enhanced turbulent diffusion combined with upwelling motion in these areas resulted in larger upward nitrate transports, further enhancing primary production. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. [less ▲]

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See detailEffects of extreme meteorological conditions on coastal dynamics near a submarine canyon
Skliris, Nikolaos ULg; Lacroix, Geneviève; Djenidi, Salim ULg

in Continental Shelf Research (2004), 24(9), 1033-1045

A 3-D hydrodynamic model is applied to assess shelf/slope exchanges in the Calvi Canyon region (Corsica, NW Mediterranean) during the violent storm that affected the Western Europe in December 1999 ... [more ▼]

A 3-D hydrodynamic model is applied to assess shelf/slope exchanges in the Calvi Canyon region (Corsica, NW Mediterranean) during the violent storm that affected the Western Europe in December 1999. Simulations are carried out using high-frequency sampling meteorological data to take into account the short-term variability of the atmospheric conditions. It is shown that the combined effects of canyon topography and of the wind forcing during the storm are responsible for a large increase of both cross-shore and vertical transports in the area. Strong downwelling motion is simulated all along the continental slope with vertical velocities up to 2cm s(-1) within the canyon. High turbulent diffusion levels are obtained leading to the complete mixing of the water column within the canyon. Results suggest that increased turbulent diffusion and downwelling circulation in the canyon during the storm should result in a large transport of coastal water towards the abyssal plain. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. [less ▲]

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See detailThe role of topography in small well-mixed bays, with application to the lagoon of Mururoa
Mathieu, Pierre-Philippe; Deleersnijder, Eric; Cushman-Roisin, Benoît et al

in Continental Shelf Research (2002), 22(9), 1379-1395

The present study aims to better understand how bathymetry and wind field interact to shape the circulation in well-mixed bays with particular emphasis on the lagoon of Mururoa. The simple model of ... [more ▼]

The present study aims to better understand how bathymetry and wind field interact to shape the circulation in well-mixed bays with particular emphasis on the lagoon of Mururoa. The simple model of Csanady (J. Phys. Oceanography 3 (1973) 429) is re-examined and some new analytical properties of the velocity distribution are derived. An extended version of the Csanady model, called the idealised model (IM), is then applied to the lagoon of Mururoa located in the Pacific. The circulation obtained by IM compares well with the circulation simulated by a three-dimensional hydrodynamic model. Our results show that IM provides a simple and powerful heuristic tool to gain more insight into the dominant dynamical regime of the lagoon. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved. [less ▲]

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See detailMetal biogeochemistry in the Tinto-Odiel rivers (Southern Spain) and in the Gulf of Cadiz: a synthesis of the results of TOROS project
Elbaz-Poulichet, Françoise; Braungardt, Chantal; Achterberg, Eric et al

in Continental Shelf Research (2001), 21(18-19), 1961-1973

TOROS (Tinto-Odiel-River-Ocean Study) has been studying the biogeochemical processes which control metals and nutrients cycling in the mixing zone of the Tinto and Odiel rivers (SW Spain) and has ... [more ▼]

TOROS (Tinto-Odiel-River-Ocean Study) has been studying the biogeochemical processes which control metals and nutrients cycling in the mixing zone of the Tinto and Odiel rivers (SW Spain) and has established the fate of metals in the Gulf of Cadiz in relation to hydrodynamics and biological activity. The Tinto and Odiel rivers are small, with a combined mean discharge of 18 m(3)/s. They drain the largest sulphide mineralisation in the world. Predominantly, Zn-Cu-Pb mineralisation has been worked since 2500 yr BC. The estuarine zone includes both an extensive area of salt marsh and an intensively industrialised urban area. As a consequence of pyrite oxidation, the Tinto and Odiel rivers are strongly acidic (pH < 3) with extremely high and variable metal concentrations. Transition metals are poorly removed from the water column in the mixing zone. Moreover, drainage from large phosphogypsum waste deposits contributes to As, Hg, U and phosphate contamination of the estuary. The collapse of the tailing reservoir at los Frailes in 1998 had not impacted the chemistry of the coastal waters up to 6 months later. A large plume of metal-rich waters due to the Tinto arid Odiel discharges occurs along the coast of the Gulf of Cadiz. This plume affects seasonally the Atlantic inflow through the Strait of Gibraltar. The dispersion of the metal discharges has been simulated by injection of a tracer in the 3-D hydrodynamical model. Both model and field study clearly show the inflow of metal contaminated Spanish Shelf Water through the Strait of Gibraltar. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved. [less ▲]

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See detailA discussion of methods for estimating residual fluxes in strong tidal estuaries
Regnier, P.; Mouchet, Anne ULg; Wollast, R. et al

in Continental Shelf Research (1998), 18

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See detailDistribution of surface water partial CO2 pressure in the English Channel and in the Southern Bight of the North Sea
Frankignoulle, Michel; Bourge, Isabelle; Canon, Christine ULg et al

in Continental Shelf Research (1996), 16

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See detailThree-dimensional General Circulation Model of the Northern Bering Sea’s Summer Ecohydrodynamics
Nihoul, Jacques ULg; Adam, Paul; Brasseur, Pierre et al

in Continental Shelf Research (1993), 13(5-6), 509-542

The main features of the northern Bering Sea's summer ecohydrodynamics are investigated with the help of two three-dimensional—direct and inverse—models developed at theGeoHydrodynamics ... [more ▼]

The main features of the northern Bering Sea's summer ecohydrodynamics are investigated with the help of two three-dimensional—direct and inverse—models developed at theGeoHydrodynamics andEnvironmentResearch Laboratory of the University of Liège (GHER). Each model consists of two interacting sectorial submodels for (i) the general circulation hydrodynamics and synoptic structures, and (ii) the associated plankton ecosystem dynamics. The direct model is used to simulate, from an initial state compatible with historical, climatological and all available data pertinent to the summer season, a typical overview of the northern Bering Sea's ecohydrodynamics during the summer. The inverse model is applied in a two-fold perspective: (i) the reconstruction of typical summer distributions of temperature and salinity by using more than 1500 CTD profiles measured during the months of July, August and September, in the course of the ISHTAR program; (ii) considering the observations from specific ISHTAR surveys as quasi-synoptic, the reconstruction of individual data fields in order to provide additional information to assess the variability of the system. The model's predictions indicate that the summer dynamics are dominated by a few cogent semi-permanent and reproducible mechanisms which govern the main water mass transports, the upwellings, the fronts and the subsequent seasonal patterns of primary and secondary productions. The general circulation fields calculated by the direct model are considered as a standard of reference to give a coherent interpretation of—local and often instantaneous—observations, process studies and related results, in the context of the natural variability of the system. The simulated flow pattern has been validated, using the set of current measurements provided by 1985 and 1986 ISHTAR moorings. The contribution of the Anadyr Stream to the northward transport is reproduced qualitatively and quantitatively. The vertical motions—undetectable from direct experiments—are computed by the model, and represent one of the most efficient constraints on the ecohydrodynamics. For instance, the strong upwelling located along the Siberian coast—the existence of which was only presumed until recently—is now correctly estimated in position and intensity. The exceptionally high concentrations of nutrients found in the upwelled water turn this hydrodynamic structure into a catalyst element for the development of biological species in the region. The pattern of primary production shows two successive maxima: the first appears as a direct consequence of the frontal conditions associated with the Anadyr Stream, whereas the second develops further north, in the Chukchi Sea. The results display a fairly good agreement with the classical descriptions induced from observations, and suggest that the advection-growth coupling is the main physical conditioning factor for biological processes. [less ▲]

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See detailThe stable carbon isotope ratios in benthic food webs of the gulf of Calvi, Corsica
Dauby, Patrick ULg

in Continental Shelf Research (1989), 9

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