Conservative and Non-conservative Variability in the Inherent Optical Properties of Dissolved and Particulate Components in Seawater
BIGELOW LAB FOR OCEAN SCIENCES WEST BOOTHBAY HARBOR ME
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LONG TERM GOAL. The long term goals of this project are to identify and quantify the physical, chemical and biological mechanisms underlying variability in the inherent optical properties IOPs. Once established, the inverse approach will be taken to predict physical, chemical and biological processes in the ocean using optical measurements. OBJECTIVES. My approach to these goals is to develop methods for separating the IOPs into contributions by different functional groups in discrete size ranges. The functional groups phytoplankton, organic and inorganic particles, dissolved material are optically distinct. The optical properties for the different groups display variations due to unique mechanisms i.e. growth, grazing, photoacclimation, photobleaching, degradation, aggregation which operate on a range of time scales i.e. minutes to weeks. Additionally, some of the mechanisms inducing optical variations operate selectively on different size ranges of material i.e. taxon-specific growthgrazing, aggregation. Measuring the sizefunctional optical variations with respect to hydrographic variations allows the non-conservative variations identified above to be separated from the conservative variations associated with water mass dynamics i.e. advection, mixing. In this manner, functional groups in discrete size ranges can be targeted as distinct tracers for a range of physical, biological and geochemical processes.
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography