Shropshire, T., Morey, S. L., Chassignet, E. P., Bozec, A., Coles, V. J., Landry, M. R., et al. (2019). Quantifying spatiotemporal variability in zooplankton dynamics in the Gulf of Mexico with a physical-biogeochemical model.
Abstract: Zooplankton play an important role in global biogeochemistry and their secondary production supports valuable fisheries of the world's oceans. Currently, zooplankton abundances cannot be estimated using remote sensing techniques. Hence, coupled physical-biogeochemical models (PBMs) provide an important tool for studying zooplankton on regional and global scales. However, evaluating the accuracy of zooplankton abundance estimates from PBMs has been a major challenge as a result of sparse observations. In this study, we configure a PBM for the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) from 1993�2012 and validate the model against an extensive combination of in situ biomass and rate measurements including total mesozooplankton biomass, size-fractionated mesozooplankton biomass and grazing rates, microzooplankton specific grazing rates, surface chlorophyll, deep chlorophyll maximum depth, phytoplankton specific growth rates, and net primary production. Spatial variability in mesozooplankton biomass climatology observed in a multi-decadal database for the northern GoM is well resolved by the model with a statistically significant (p < 0.01) correlation of 0.90. Mesozooplankton secondary production for the region averaged 66 + 8 mt C yr−1 equivalent to approximately 10 % of NPP and ranged from 51 to 82 mt C yr−1. In terms of diet, model results from the shelf regions suggest that herbivory is the dominant feeding mode for small mesozooplankton (< 1-mm) whereas larger mesozooplankton are primarily carnivorous. However, in open-ocean, oligotrophic regions, both groups of mesozooplankton have proportionally greater reliance on heterotrophic protists as a food source. This highlights the important role of microbial and protistan food webs in sustaining mesozooplankton biomass in the GoM which serves as the primary food source for early life stages of many commercially-important fish species, including tuna.
Morey, S. L., Wienders, N., Dukhovskoy, D. S., & Bourassa, M. A. (2018). Impact of Stokes Drift on Measurements of Surface Currents from Drifters and HF Radar. In
American Geophysical Union (Vol. Fall Meeting).
Abstract: Concurrent measurements by surface drifters of different configurations and HF radar reveal substantial differences in estimates of the near-surface seawater velocity. On average, speeds of small ultra-thin (5 cm) drifters are significantly greater than co-located drifters with a traditional shallow drogue design, while velocity measurements from the drogued drifters closely match HF radar velocity estimates. Analysis of directional wave spectra measurements from a nearby buoy reveals that Stokes drift accounts for much of the difference between the velocity measurements from the drogued drifters and the ultra-thin drifters, except during times of wave breaking. Under wave breaking conditions, the difference between the ultra-thin drifter velocity and the drogued drifter velocity is much less than the computed Stokes drift. The results suggest that surface currents measured by more common approaches or simulated in models may underrepresent the velocity at the very surface of the ocean that is important for determining momentum and enthalpy fluxes between the ocean and atmosphere and for estimating transport of material at the ocean surface. However, simply adding an estimate of Stokes drift may also not be an appropriate method for estimating the true surface velocity from models or measurements from drogued drifters or HF radar under all sea conditions.
Özgökmen, T., Chassignet, E., Dawson, C., Dukhovskoy, D., Jacobs, G., Ledwell, J., et al. (2016). Over What Area Did the Oil and Gas Spread During the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill?
Oceanog, 29(3), 96–107.
Garcia-Pineda, O., MacDonald, I., Hu, C., Svejkovsky, J., Hess, M., Dukhovskoy, D., et al. (2013). Detection of Floating Oil Anomalies From the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill With Synthetic Aperture Radar.
Morey, S. L., O'Brien, J. J., Schroeder, W. W., & Zavala-Hidalgo, J. (2002). ), Seasonal variability of the export of river discharged freshwater in the Northern gulf of Mexico.
MTS/IEEE Oceans 2002 Proceedings, , 1480–1484.
Zavala-Hidalgo, J., Morey, S. L., & O'Brien, J. J. (2002). On the formation and interaction of cyclonic eddies with the Loop Current using NCOM and a suite of observations.
MTS/IEEE Oceans 2002 Proceedings, , 1463–1466.
Morey, S. L., Zavala-Hidalgo, J., & O'Brien, J. J. (2005). The seasonal variability of continental shelf circulation in the northern and western Gulf of Mexico from a high-resolution numerical model. In W. Sturges, & A. Lugo-Fernandez (Eds.),
New Developments in the Circulation of the Gulf of Mexico. Geophys. Mongr. Ser., (161).
Zavala-Hidalgo, J., Romero-Centeno, R., Mateos-Jasso, A., Morey, S. L., & Martínez-López, B. (2014). The response of the Gulf of Mexico to wind and heat flux forcing: What has been learned in recent years?
Atmósfera, 27(3), 317–334.
Harris, R., Pollman, C., Hutchinson, D., Landing, W., Axelrad, D., Morey, S. L., et al. (2012). A screening model analysis of mercury sources, fate and bioaccumulation in the Gulf of Mexico.
Environ Res, 119, 53–63.
Abstract: A mass balance model of mercury (Hg) cycling and bioaccumulation was applied to the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf), coupled with outputs from hydrodynamic and atmospheric Hg deposition models. The dominant overall source of Hg to the Gulf is the Atlantic Ocean. Gulf waters do not mix fully however, resulting in predicted spatial differences in the relative importance of external Hg sources to Hg levels in water, sediments and biota. Direct atmospheric Hg deposition, riverine inputs, and Atlantic inputs were each predicted to be the most important source of Hg to at least one of the modeled regions in the Gulf. While incomplete, mixing of Gulf waters is predicted to be sufficient that fish Hg levels in any given location are affected by Hg entering other regions of the Gulf. This suggests that a Gulf-wide approach is warranted to reduce Hg loading and elevated Hg concentrations currently observed in some fish species. Basic data to characterize Hg concentrations and cycling in the Gulf are lacking but needed to adequately understand the relationship between Hg sources and fish Hg concentrations.
Harris, R., Pollman, C., Landing, W., Evans, D., Axelrad, D., Hutchinson, D., et al. (2012). Mercury in the Gulf of Mexico: sources to receptors.
Environ Res, 119, 42–52.
Abstract: Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) fisheries account for 41% of the U.S. marine recreational fish catch and 16% of the nation's marine commercial fish landings. Mercury (Hg) concentrations are elevated in some fish species in the Gulf, including king mackerel, sharks, and tilefish. All five Gulf states have fish consumption advisories based on Hg. Per-capita fish consumption in the Gulf region is elevated compared to the U.S. national average, and recreational fishers in the region have a potential for greater MeHg exposure due to higher levels of fish consumption. Atmospheric wet Hg deposition is estimated to be higher in the Gulf region compared to most other areas in the U.S., but the largest source of Hg to the Gulf as a whole is the Atlantic Ocean (>90%) via large flows associated with the Loop Current. Redistribution of atmospheric, Atlantic and terrestrial Hg inputs to the Gulf occurs via large scale water circulation patterns, and further work is needed to refine estimates of the relative importance of these Hg sources in terms of contributing to fish Hg levels in different regions of the Gulf. Measurements are needed to better quantify external loads, in-situ concentrations, and fluxes of total Hg and methylmercury in the water column, sediments, and food web.