Samuelsen, A. (2005).
Modeling the Effect of Eddies and Advection on the Lower Trophic Ecosystem in the Northeast Tropical Pacific. Ph.D. thesis, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL.
Abstract: A medium complexity, nitrogen-based ecosystem model is developed in order to simulate the ecosystem in the northeast tropical Pacific. Several physical processes have major impact on the ecosystem in this region, most importantly intense wind jets along the coast and upwelling at the Costa Rica Dome (CRD). The ecosystem model is run “offline”, using a realistic physical ocean model hindcast as input. The physical model is a subdomain of the global Navy Coastal Ocean Model, which is a hybrid sigma-z level model. The model assimilates Modular Ocean Data Assimilation System temperature and salinity profiles derived from altimetry and sea surface temperature data. The model is forced by daily heat and momentum fluxes, and therefore captures short-term wind events such as the Tehuantepec jet. Because the model has high horizontal resolution (~1/8 degree) and assimilates sea surface height data, it has a realistic representation of eddies and mesoscale variability. The ecosystem model includes two nutrients (nitrate and ammonium), two size-classes of phytoplankton, two size-classes of zooplankton, and detritus. The model is run for 4 years from 1999 to 2002, with analyses focused on 2000-2002. The model is validated using SeaWiFS data and ship-based observations from the STAR-cruises (Stenella Abundance Research Project) of 1999 and 2000. The northernmost and most intense of the wind jets along Central America is the Tehuantepec jet. The Tehuantepec jet is responsible for upwelling large amounts of nutrient rich water south of the Gulf of Tehuantepec. The jet also occasionally produce large anti-cyclonic eddies that transport organic matter away from the coast. Because organic matter that is transported into the open ocean will eventually sink to the deep ocean, this has implications for the carbon export in this region. The model results are used to calculate cross-shelf fluxes in this region in order to estimate how much organic material is transported across the shelf break. Results show that at the Gulf of Tehuantepec there is high offshore export of organic material, particularly during eddy generation events, but also in fall. The highest export is on the order of 10 Mg C per meter of coastline per day and happens during eddy events. During these events there is a comparable onshore flux to the south of the gulf. Typically there is onshore flux to the south of the gulf during the summer. The model estimated transport away from the coast at the Gulf of Tehuantepec is 167 Tg C/year, and the onshore transport to the south of the gulf is 704 Tg C/year. The second subject of interest is the CRD. In this region, upwelling at the surface is caused by Ekman upwelling during the summer, although the dome is thought to be present at depth throughout the year. The doming of the isotherms below the thermocline is a result of vortex stretching and is decoupled from the wind-driven processes at the surface. A mass-balance budget is calculated at the CRD, and the horizontal and vertical fluxes are related to the abundance of plankton at the dome. There is upwelling (7.2X10-2 Sv ) at the dome throughout the year, but around the location of the dome (90° W), the upwelling is largest in the winter. Further west, input of nutrients from below is larger in the fall and summer. The results suggest that about 80% of the nitrate that is supplied to the dome during summer is actually brought up to the west of the dome and transported eastward by the North Equatorial Counter Current.
Steffen, J., & Bourassa, M. (2018). Barrier Layer Development Local to Tropical Cyclones based on Argo Float Observations.
J. Phys. Oceanogr., 48(9), 1951–1968.
Abstract: The objective of this study is to quantify barrier layer development due to tropical cyclone (TC) passage using Argo float observations of temperature and salinity. To accomplish this objective, a climatology of Argo float measurements is developed from 2001 to 2014 for the Atlantic, eastern Pacific, and central Pacific basins. Each Argo float sample consists of a prestorm and poststorm temperature and salinity profile pair. In addition, a no-TC Argo pair dataset is derived for comparison to account for natural ocean state variability and instrument sensitivity. The Atlantic basin shows a statistically significant increase in barrier layer thickness (BLT) and barrier layer potential energy (BLPE) that is largely attributable to an increase of 2.6 m in the post-TC isothermal layer depth (ITLD). The eastern Pacific basin shows no significant changes to any barrier layer characteristic, likely due to a shallow and highly stratified pycnocline. However, the near-surface layer freshens in the upper 30 m after TC passage, which increases static stability. Finally, the central Pacific has a statistically significant freshening in the upper 20-30 m that increases upper-ocean stratification by similar to 35%. The mechanisms responsible for increases in BLPE vary between the Atlantic and both Pacific basins; the Atlantic is sensitive to ITLD deepening, while the Pacific basins show near-surface freshening to be more important in barrier layer development. In addition, Argo data subsets are used to investigate the physical relationships between the barrier layer and TC intensity, TC translation speed, radial distance from TC center, and time after TC passage.
Stukel, M. R., Benitez-Nelson, C. R., Decima, M., Taylor, A. G., Buchwald, C., & Landry, M. R. (2016). The biological pump in the Costa Rica Dome: an open-ocean upwelling system with high new production and low export.
J Plankton Res, 38(2), 348–365.
Abstract: The Costa Rica Dome is a picophytoplankton-dominated, open-ocean upwelling system in the Eastern Tropical Pacific that overlies the ocean's largest oxygen minimum zone. To investigate the efficiency of the biological pump in this unique area, we used shallow (90-150 m) drifting sediment traps and 234Th:238U deficiency measurements to determine export fluxes of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus in sinking particles. Simultaneous measurements of nitrate uptake and shallow water nitrification allowed us to assess the equilibrium balance of new and export production over a monthly timescale. While f-ratios (new:total production) were reasonably high (0.36 +/- 0.12, mean +/- standard deviation), export efficiencies were considerably lower. Sediment traps suggested e-ratios (export/14C-primary production) at 90-100 m ranging from 0.053 to 0.067. ThE-ratios (234Th disequilibrium-derived export) ranged from 0.038 to 0.088. C:N and N:P stoichiometries of sinking material were both greater than canonical (Redfield) ratios or measured C:N of suspended particulates, and they increased with depth, suggesting that both nitrogen and phosphorus were preferentially remineralized from sinking particles. Our results are consistent with an ecosystem in which mesozooplankton play a major role in energy transfer to higher trophic levels but are relatively inefficient in mediating vertical carbon flux to depth, leading to an imbalance between new production and sinking flux.
Tseng, Y. -heng, Lin, H., Chen, H. -ching, Thompson, K., Bentsen, M., Böning, C. W., et al. (2016). North and equatorial Pacific Ocean circulation in the CORE-II hindcast simulations.
Ocean Modelling, 104, 143–170.
Venugopal, T., Ali, M. M., Bourassa, M. A., Zheng, Y., Goni, G. J., Foltz, G. R., et al. (2018). Statistical Evidence for the Role of Southwestern Indian Ocean Heat Content in the Indian Summer Monsoon Rainfall.
Sci Rep, 8(1), 12092.
Abstract: This study examines the benefit of using Ocean Mean Temperature (OMT) to aid in the prediction of the sign of Indian Summer Monsoon Rainfall (ISMR) anomalies. This is a statistical examination, rather than a process study. The thermal energy needed for maintaining and intensifying hurricanes and monsoons comes from the upper ocean, not just from the thin layer represented by sea surface temperature (SST) alone. Here, we show that the southwestern Indian OMT down to the depth of the 26 degrees C isotherm during January-March is a better qualitative predictor of the ISMR than SST. The success rate in predicting above- or below-average ISMR is 80% for OMT compared to 60% for SST. Other January-March mean climate indices (e.g., NINO3.4, Indian Ocean Dipole Mode Index, El Nino Southern Oscillation Modoki Index) have less predictability (52%, 48%, and 56%, respectively) than OMT percentage deviation (PD) (80%). Thus, OMT PD in the southwestern Indian Ocean provides a better qualitative prediction of ISMR by the end of March and indicates whether the ISMR will be above or below the climatological mean value.
Zhang, M., Wu, Z., & Qiao, F. (2018). Deep Atlantic Ocean Warming Facilitated by the Deep Western Boundary Current and Equatorial Kelvin Waves.
J. Climate, 31(20), 8541–8555.
Abstract: Increased heat storage in deep oceans has been proposed to account for the slowdown of global surface warming since the end of the twentieth century. How the imbalanced heat at the surface has been redistributed to deep oceans remains to be elucidated. Here, the evolution of deep Atlantic Ocean heat storage since 1950 on multidecadal or longer time scales is revealed. The anomalous heat in the deep Labrador Sea was transported southward by the shallower core of the deep western boundary current (DWBC). Upon reaching the equator around 1980, this heat transport route bifurcated into two, with one continuing southward along the DWBC and the other extending eastward along a narrow strip (about 4 degrees width) centered at the equator. In the 1990s and 2000s, meridional diffusion helped to spread warming in the tropics, making the eastward equatorial warming extension have a narrow head and wider tail. The deep Atlantic Ocean warming since 1950 had overlapping variability of approximately 60 years. The results suggest that the current basinwide Atlantic Ocean warming at depths of 1000-2000 m can be traced back to the subsurface warming in the Labrador Sea in the 1950s. An inference from these results is that the increased heat storage in the twenty-first century in the deep Atlantic Ocean is unlikely to partly account for the atmospheric radiative imbalance during the last two decades and to serve as an explanation for the current warming hiatus.
Zhao, X., Zhou, C., Xu, X., Ye, R., Tian, J., & Zhao, W. (2019). Deep Circulation in the South China Sea Simulated in a Regional Model.
Ocean Sci. Discuss, .
Abstract: The South China Sea (SCS) is the largest marginal sea in the northwest Pacific Ocean. In this study, deep circulation in the SCS is investigated using results from eddy-resolving, regional simulations using the Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM) verified by continuous current-meter observations. Analysis of these results provides a detailed spatial structure and temporal variability of the deep circulation in the SCS. The major features of the SCS deep circulation are a basin-scale cyclonic gyre and a concentrated deep western boundary current (DWBC). Transport of the DWBC is ∼ 2 Sv at 16.5° N with a width of ∼53 km. Flowing southwestward, the narrow DWBC becomes weaker with a wider range. The model results reveal the existence of 80- to 120-day oscillation in the deep northeastern circulation and the DWBC, which are also the areas with elevated eddy kinetic energy. This intraseasonal oscillation propagates northwestward with a velocity amplitude of ∼ 1.0 to 1.5 cm s-1. The distribution of mixing parameters in the deep SCS plays a role in both spatial structure and volume transport of the deep circulation. Compared with the northern shelf of the SCS with the Luzon Strait, deep circulation in the SCS is more sensitive to the large vertical mixing parameters of the Zhongsha Island Chain area.