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Biogeochemical properties of eddies in the California Current System

TitleBiogeochemical properties of eddies in the California Current System
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsChenillat F, Franks PJS, Combes V
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Date Published2016/06
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0094-8276
Accession NumberWOS:000379851800032
Keywordsbio-physical interactions; boundary upwelling systems; california current system; chlorophyll; coastal upwelling system; dynamics; eddy; mesoscale activity; Mesoscale eddies; ocean; Pacific sardine; plankton ecosystem; surface; transport; variability

The California Current System (CCS) has intense mesoscale activity that modulates and exports biological production from the coastal upwelling system. To characterize and quantify the ability of mesoscale eddies to affect the local and regional planktonic ecosystem of the CCS, we analyzed a 10 year-long physical-biological model simulation, using eddy detection and tracking to isolate the dynamics of cyclonic and anticyclonic eddies. As they propagate westward across the shelf, cyclonic eddies efficiently transport coastal planktonic organisms and maintain locally elevated production for up to 1 year (800km offshore). Anticyclonic eddies, on the other hand, have a limited impact on local production over their similar to 6-month lifetime as they propagate 400km offshore. At any given time similar to 8% of the model domain was covered by eddy cores. Though the eddies cover a small area, they explain similar to 50 and 20% of the transport of nitrate and plankton, respectively.

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