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Physical controls on the seasonal migration of the North Pacific transition zone chlorophyll front


Ayers, JM and Lozier, MS, Physical controls on the seasonal migration of the North Pacific transition zone chlorophyll front, Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 115, (C5) Article C05001. ISSN 0148-0227 (2010) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2010 American Geophysical Union

DOI: doi:10.1029/2009JC005596


The large seasonal migration of the transition zone chlorophyll front (TZCF) is of interest because a number of marine fauna, both commercial and endangered, appear to track it. Herein we examine the physical dynamics driving this seasonal migration of the TZCF. Vertical processes, traditionally viewed as controlling the dynamical supply of nutrients to surface waters, prove insufficient to explain seasonal variations in nutrient supply to the transition zone. Instead, we find that the horizontal Ekman transport of nutrients from higher latitudes drives the TZCF’s southward migration. The estimated horizontal transport of nitrate supports up to 40% of new primary productivity in the region annually and nearly all of new primary productivity in the winter. The significance of horizontal advection to the North Pacific transition zone supports revising the paradigm that nutrients are supplied to surface waters from below.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:North Pacific Transition Zone, Nitrate, Ekman
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Chemical oceanography
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Air quality, atmosphere and weather
Objective Field:Atmospheric composition (incl. greenhouse gas inventory)
UTAS Author:Ayers, JM (Dr Jennifer Ayers)
ID Code:89438
Year Published:2010
Web of Science® Times Cited:68
Deposited By:IMAS Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2014-03-05
Last Modified:2014-06-03

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