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A 3D SPM model for biogeochemical modelling, with application to the northwest European continental shelf
van der Molen, J.; Ruardij, P.; Greenwood, N. (2017). A 3D SPM model for biogeochemical modelling, with application to the northwest European continental shelf. J. Sea Res. 127: 63-81.
In: Journal of Sea Research. Elsevier/Netherlands Institute for Sea Research: Amsterdam; Den Burg. ISSN 1385-1101; e-ISSN 1873-1414, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    Suspended particulate matter; Sediment transport; Resuspension; Light penetration; Primary production

Authors  Top 
  • van der Molen, J., more
  • Ruardij, P., more
  • Greenwood, N.

    An SPM resuspension method was developed for use in 3D coupled hydrodynamics-biogeochemistry models to feed into simulations of the under-water light climate and and primary production. The method uses a single mineral fine SPM component for computational efficiency, with a concentration-dependent settling velocity to parameterize the effect of settling of different size fractions. The SPM is resuspended in response to combined wave and current conditions. Wave conditions were calculated using a simple set of equilibrium equations, which allows computationally cheap inclusion of the large-scale spatial and temporal trends of the wave field. The development was carried out using 1D water-column implementations of GOTM-ERSEM-BFM for two sites for which multi-year time series observations from autonomous moorings (SmartBuoy) were available. A sensitivity study is included to illustrate the effect of the main variables controlling the exchange with the sea-bed and the settling velocity. The method was applied to a 3D model implementation of GETM-ERSEM-BFM for the north-west European continental shelf, comparing mineral fine SPM concentrations at five sites with SmartBuoy observations, and shelf-wide using remote sensing. The 3D implementation included a simple fitting method to generate gridded sea-bed composition information for use in the sea-bed boundary conditions. The results showed that the model produces reasonable simulations of seasonal SPM concentrations across the northwest European continental shelf.

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