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Free Content Effects of velocity fluctuations on vertical distributions of phytoplankton

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Effects of vertical velocity oscillations (associated with high frequency internal gravity waves) upon the vertical distribution of horizontally averaged phytoplankton concentration are considered. It is suggested that such effects have been systematically misrepresented in previous modeling efforts. Correction terms are derived both for averaged quasi-Lagrangian (isopycnal) models and for averaged Eulerian models. In quasi-Lagrangian models, an apparent modification to growth rate coefficient is obtained. In Eulerian models, velocity fluctuations are shown to induce a net vertical transport which can be described by a “virtual velocity” and which is seen as a correction to eddy diffusivity parameterizations. Difficulties such as negative or singular diffusivities are circumvented. Convergence of virtual velocity can provide an effective mechanism for formation of a phytoplankton maximum near or below the mean compensation depth. It is hoped that inclusion of effects here derived may extend the realism and utility of averaged plankton models.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 1984

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  • The Journal of Marine Research, one of the oldest journals in American marine science, publishes peer-reviewed research articles covering a broad array of topics in physical, biological and chemical oceanography. Articles that deal with processes, as well as those that report significant observations, are welcome. Biological studies involving coupling between ecological and physical processes are preferred over those that report systematics. The editors strive always to serve authors and readers in the academic oceanographic community by publishing papers vital to the marine research in the long and rich tradition of the Sears Foundation for Marine Research. We welcome you to the Journal of Marine Research.
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