Diurnal Patterns in the Persistence of "Thin-Layers" of Marine Snow, Zooplankton and Turbulent Microstructure in Coastal Waters
CALIFORNIA UNIV SANTA BARBARA MARINE SCIENCE INST
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Recent evidence indicates that large detrital aggregates, known as marine snow, are highly concentrated at pycnoclines and other density discontinuities in the water column due to turbulence, shear, and reduced sinking rates as settling aggregates encounter layers of higher density MacIntyre et al, 1995. The characteristics of these thin layers of high aggregate abundance and their impacts on the distributions of phytoplankton, microbes, and zooplankton in the water column are poorly known, but likely to be significant. Our long-term goal is to develop a predictive understanding of the relationship between the vertical distribution of marine snow, pelagic organisms, and physical properties, including turbulence. Such information will increase our understanding of the patchy distribution of living and detrital matter in the sea and of the impact of thin layers on optical and acoustical properties of the water column.
- Biological Oceanography
- Snow, Ice and Permafrost