Probabilistic approach of water residence time and connectivity using Markov Chains with application to tidal embayments

Type Article
Date 2016-01
Language English
Author(s) Bacher CedricORCID1, Filgueira R.2, Guyondet T.2
Affiliation(s) 1 : IFREMER, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
2 : Gulf Fisheries Ctr, Dept Fisheries & Oceans, Sci Branch, Moncton, NB E1C 9B6, Canada.
Source Journal Of Marine Systems (0924-7963) (Elsevier Science Bv), 2016-01 , Vol. 153 , P. 25-41
DOI 10.1016/j.jmarsys.2015.09.002
WOS© Times Cited 7
Keyword(s) Transfer time, Transfer rate, Residual flow, Indicators, Aquaculture, Hydrodynamics
Abstract Markov Chain analysis was recently proposed to assess the time scales and preferential pathways into biological or physical networks by computing residence time, first passage time, rates of transfer between nodes and number of passages in a node. We propose to adapt an algorithm already published for simple systems to physical systems described with a high resolution hydrodynamic model. The method is applied to bays and estuaries on the Eastern Coast of Canada for their interest in shellfish aquaculture. Current velocities have been computed by using a 2 dimensional grid of elements and circulation patterns were summarized by averaging Eulerian flows between adjacent elements. Flows and volumes allow computing probabilities of transition between elements and to assess the average time needed by virtual particles to move from one element to another, the rate of transfer between two elements, and the average residence time of each system. We also combined transfer rates and times to assess the main pathways of virtual particles released in farmed areas and the potential influence of farmed areas on other areas. We suggest that Markov chain is complementary to other sets of ecological indicators proposed to analyse the interactions between farmed areas - e.g. depletion index, carrying capacity assessment. Markov Chain has several advantages with respect to the estimation of connectivity between pair of sites. It makes possible to estimate transfer rates and times at once in a very quick and efficient way, without the need to perform long term simulations of particle or tracer concentration.
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