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Dynamics of suspended particles in coastal waters (southern North Sea) during a spring bloom
McCandliss, R.R.; Jones, S.E.; Hearn, M.; Latter, R.; Jago, C.F. (2002). Dynamics of suspended particles in coastal waters (southern North Sea) during a spring bloom. J. Sea Res. 47(3-4): 285-302.
In: Journal of Sea Research. Elsevier/Netherlands Institute for Sea Research: Amsterdam; Den Burg. ISSN 1385-1101, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Particle size; Resuspension; Settling rate; Suspended particulate matter; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • McCandliss, R.R., correspondent
  • Jones, S.E., correspondent
  • Hearn, M.
  • Latter, R.
  • Jago, C.F.

    Measurements of suspended particle concentration, size and settling velocity were made at a shallow site in the southern North Sea during a spring phytoplankton bloom. The site was characterised by strong differences in surface and near-bed residual flows; therefore particle processes in each layer are effectively decoupled as long as the water column is stratified. Four distinct energetic events during the observation period caused variation in the characteristics and behaviour of the particle population: (1) moderate spring tides with low wave activity; (2) strong winds, increased wave activity; (3) strong spring tides; (4) weak neap tides. During Event 1 weak tidal resuspension occurred, median particle diameter was relatively large, but median settling velocities of both chlorophyll and total SPM were low. During the higher energy Events 2 and 3 there was resuspension of relatively small, high-density particles producing high median total SPM settling velocities but low median particle diameter. In addition, a phytodetrital fluff layer, characterised by high chlorophyll settling velocity, was resuspended and dispersed during storm conditions (Event 2). During calm, weak neap tides (Event 4) there was negligible resuspension and enhanced particle settling and deposition, particularly in the phytodetritral component of the particle population, allowing rapid replenishment of the benthic fluff layer. This work indicates the relatively rapid rate at which fluff layers can be formed and dispersed, and highlights the need for high frequency measurements. The range of contrasting physical conditions over which the data-set was collected makes it an ideal candidate for parameterising and validating suspended sediment dynamics models.

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