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Three-dimensional general circulation model of the northern Bering Sea's summer ecohydrodynamics
Nihoul, J.C.J.; Adam, P.; Brasseur, P.; Deleersnijder, E.; Djendi, S.; Haus, J. (1993). Three-dimensional general circulation model of the northern Bering Sea's summer ecohydrodynamics. Cont. Shelf Res. 13(5-6): 509-542
In: Continental Shelf Research. Pergamon Press: Oxford; New York. ISSN 0278-4343, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 113602 [ OMA ]

    Hydrodynamics; Ocean circulation; Phytoplankton; Primary production; Summer; IN, Bering Sea [Marine Regions]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Nihoul, J.C.J., more
  • Adam, P.
  • Brasseur, P.
  • Deleersnijder, E., more
  • Djendi, S.
  • Haus, J.

    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 the GeoHydrodynamics and Environment Research Laboratory of the University of Liege (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 semipermanent 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.

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