Biogeochemical modeling in the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico: seasonal and mesoscale variability.

Damien, Pierre, Pasqueron de Fommervault, Orens, Sheinbaum, Julio and Duteil, Olaf (2017) Biogeochemical modeling in the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico: seasonal and mesoscale variability. [Talk] In: RAUGM 2017 Annual Meeting of the Unión Geofísica Mexicana. , 23-27.10.2017, Puerto Vallerta, Mexico .

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Throughout the Gulf of Mexico open waters, satellite measurements evidenced a clear seasonal variability in the surface chlorophyll concentration. The most important factor controlling this annual cycle is the depth of the mixed layer. Recent studies carried on in subtropical oligotrophic regions suggested that the surface chlorophyll increase may not be systematically associated to a real biomass increase but may results from physiological mechanisms. This finding may be echoed in the Gulf of Mexico as the integrated biomass derived from fluorescence data acquired by the first deployment of profiling floats presents low variability.

Despite the increasing amount of observations in the Gulf of Mexico open waters, data is still lacking to infer the seasonal and interannual variability of the chlorophyll vertical structure at a sub-basin scale, as well as the mesoscale variability. Moreover, a strong limitation of observational-based studies remains in the difficulty to provide a synoptic view of all the factors that influence the water column biogeochemical state. In that sense, coupled physical-biological models have been found to be complementary and indispensable tools, especially for understanding the mechanisms controlling the close relationship between physical and biogeochemical processes.

In the framework of Cigom consorcium, the biogeochemical model PISCES was coupled to a 1/12 degrees resolution simulation of the Gulf of Mexico circulation. We review the capability of the coupled model to reproduce the main biogeochemical patterns and variability in the basin. The model reveals a more contrasted situation than an unique basin scale chlorophyll pattern. This variability appears to be dependent of sub-regions of the Gulf of Mexico and is strongly affected by the mesoscale dynamic (in particular by Loop Current eddies). We investigate some of the physical-biogeochemical coupling processes associated with the GoM sub-regions and with Loop Current eddies.

Document Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Talk)
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-BM Biogeochemical Modeling
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2017 12:50
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2017 12:54

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