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Vertical mixing and its effects on phytoplankton growth in a turbid estuary
Uncles, R.J.; Joint, I.R. (1983). Vertical mixing and its effects on phytoplankton growth in a turbid estuary. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 40(1): 221-228
In: Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences = Journal canadien des sciences halieutiques et aquatiques. National Research Council Canada: Ottawa. ISSN 0706-652X, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Eddy viscosity; Hydrodynamics; Phytoplankton; Thermal stratification; Turbidity; Vertical mixing; Marine; Brackish water

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  • Uncles, R.J., more
  • Joint, I.R.

    Using a hydrodynamical model, in conjunction with current meter observations, vertical eddy diffusivities, and associated vertical mixing time-scales are estimated for the Bristol Channel, U.K. In this shallow region, the mixing time-scale appears to be more useful than the commonly employed stratification parameter in assessing the potential for thermal stratification of the water column. Chlorophyll a concentrations in the Bristol Channel are observed to be vertically wellmixed throughout the year. This is shown to be a consequence of the short vertical mixing time-scales in comparison with phytoplankton generation times. These time-scales are of particular importance to phytoplankton in the region because the mixed depth is much greater than the depth of the euphotic zone. Photoinhibition is unlikely to occur in the rapidly mixing water column because phytoplankton cells experience high light conditions for only very short periods. In addition, the rapid mixing does not appear to allow time for photosynthetic adaptation of the phytoplankton population of the Bristol Channel.

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