Speaker: Thomas Connolly (Moss Landing Marine Laboratories / San Jose State University)
Title: Physical dynamics and biological impacts of circulation over the inner continental shelf
The inner continental shelf encompasses shallow depths where the turbulent wind-driven surface layer interacts with the bottom boundary layer. The complex physical dynamics of the inner shelf govern the exchange of heat, plankton and other tracers between the surf zone and deeper ocean. In this study, observations and idealized models are used to demonstrate mechanisms for variability in physical transport and phytoplankton biomass at shallow sites along both coasts of the continental US. The physical dynamics of the inner shelf are explored at two sites in the Mid-Atlantic Bight that experience different wind forcing, tides and stratification. In addition, physical forcing mechanisms for nearshore chlorophyll-a events are compared at two sites in the central California Current System that differ greatly in wind and wave conditions, one site in southern Monterey Bay and another along the exposed outer coast.