New production stimulated by high-frequency winds in a turbulent mesoscale eddy field

Type Article
Date 2009-08
Language English
Author(s) Levy M.1, Klein Patrice2, Ben Jelloul M.2
Affiliation(s) 1 : Univ Paris 06, CNRS, IPSL, LOCEAN, F-75252 Paris 05, France.
2 : UBO, CNRS, IFREMER, LPO, F-29280 Brest, France.
Source Geophysical Research Letters ( GRL ) (0094-8276) (American Geophysical Union), 2009-08 , Vol. 36 , N. L16603 , P. 1-5
DOI 10.1029/2009GL039490
WOS© Times Cited 35
Abstract Using an idealized model of an oligotrophic open-ocean region characterized by intense sub-mesoscale turbulence, we show that the presence of energetic near-inertial motions, forced by high-frequency winds, triggers transient nutrient inputs in the surface mixed-layer, stimulating new production. We also show that this production increase is larger than the increase due to the Ekman transport resulting from a slow-evolving wind forcing. The nutrient supplies are due to the interaction between near-inertial motions and the submesoscale frontogenetic dynamics that reinforces both the vertical advection and vertical diffusion, especially within sub-mesoscales features. The net result is an uplift of new production from the subsurface to the mixed-layer. A direct consequence is that the sub-mesoscale filamentary patterns of phytoplankton should become much more observable from space in the presence of high-frequency winds. Citation: Levy, M., P. Klein, and M. Ben Jelloul (2009), New production stimulated by high-frequency winds in a turbulent mesoscale eddy field, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L16603, doi:10.1029/2009GL039490.
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