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Physical drivers of interannual chlorophyll variability in the eastern subtropical North Atlantic

AutorPastor, Maria V. ; Palter, Jaime B. ; Pelegrí, Josep Lluís ; Dunne, J.P.
Fecha de publicaciónago-2013
EditorAmerican Geophysical Union
CitaciónJournal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 118(8): 3871-3886 (2013)
ResumenInterannual chlorophyll variability and its driving mechanisms are evaluated in the eastern subtropical North Atlantic, where elevated surface chlorophyll concentrations regularly extend more than 1500 km into the central subtropical North Atlantic and modulate the areal extent of the North Atlantic's lowest chlorophyll waters. We first characterize the considerable interannual variability in the size of the high chlorophyll region using SeaWiFS satellite data. We then evaluate the relationship between satellite chlorophyll and sea surface height (SSH), which are anticorrelated in the study region, most likely as a result of the inverse relationship between SSH and nutricline depth. To put these results in a longer temporal context, we study a hindcast simulation of a global ocean model with biogeochemistry (GFDL's MOM4.1 with TOPAZ biogeochemistry), after evaluating the model's skill at simulating chlorophyll and SSH relative to observations. In the simulation, the variability seen during the satellite era appears to be imbedded in a much larger multidecadal modulation. The drivers of such variability are assessed by evaluating all the terms in the nutrient budget of the euphotic zone. Because diffusive processes are not a dominant control on nutrient supply, stratification is not a good indicator of nutrient supply. Rather, vertical advection of nutrients, strongly tied to Ekman pumping, is the leading driver of variability in the size of the high chlorophyll region and the productivity within the study area. © 2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved
Descripción16 pages, 10 figures, 1 table, additional supporting information may be found in the online version of this article http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jgrc.20254/suppinfo
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jgrc.20254
Identificadoresdoi: 10.1002/jgrc.20254
e-issn: 2169-9291
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