Fine-Scale Nutrient Gradients and Thin Plankton Layers in Coastal Waters
RHODE ISLAND UNIV NARRAGANSETT GRADUATE SCHOOL OF OCEANOGRAPHY
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The long-term goal is to understand the mechanistic role that transient chemical plumes and steep nutrient gradients play in the episodic formation and maintenance of productive, thin plankton layers in coastal waters. Thin plankton layers are patches of phytoplankton and zooplankton that range in thickness from a few centimeters to a few meters yet can extend horizon tally for kilometers and persist for days. Recent work has shown that thin layers can be sufficiently intense and persistent to affect chemical and biological rate processes and the performance of current and planned Navy optical and acoustical sensors Hanson and Donaghay, 1998, Dekshenieks et al., 2001. Thin plankton layers have also been shown to be associated with steep nutrient gradients and transient chemical plumes in stratified coastal waters Hanson and Donaghay, 1998. However little is known about the mechanistic roles that chemical gradients play in the episodic formation and maintenance of productive, thin plankton layers in coastal waters.
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography
- Acoustic Detection and Detectors