Phytoplankton as Particles - A New Approach to Modeling Algal Blooms
ENGINEER RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER VICKSBURG MS ENVIRONMENTAL LAB
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The authors investigate the hypothesis that phytoplankton blooms can be modeled by treating phytoplankton as discrete particles. A particle-tracking model is inserted into the CE-QUAL-ICM eutrophication model. Phytoplankton are quantified as carbonaceous biomass attached to the particles. Kinetics are adapted from CE-QUAL-ICM. The new model is operated along with existing hydrodynamic and watershed models of the Potomac River estuary. Initial application is to the winter-spring 1994 period. The new model is compared to observations and to a conventional model of the spring diatom bloom. The particle-based model successfully computes a subsurface chlorophyll maximum. The model characteristically displays heterogeneous spatial distribution of chlorophyll with high-amplitude oscillations at the semi-diurnal period. The characteristics and applicability of the particle approach are now established. The model requires optimization of parameter values to improve representation of the observed bloom in the Potomac.
- Hydrology, Limnology and Potamology