Coastal Biogeochemistry

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The Coastal Biogeochemistry group aims to better understand the role of the coastal ocean in the global carbon cycle over the last century, at present, and in the near future.

Our current research focuses on carbon fluxes and coastal ocean productivity in eastern boundary upwelling systems of the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean and how these quantities are influenced by small scale circulation patterns such as mesoscale eddies and filaments as well as by climate variability and change.

The main regions of interest to our group are the California, Canary and Humboldt Current Systems. Some of the questions we want to address regard:

  • Coastal ocean/ open ocean exchange of carbon and nutrients
  • Ocean acidification
  • Interannual variability of the coastal region
  • Mesoscale dynamics
  • Coastal productivity

We use the Regional Oceanic Modeling System (ROMS) coupled to biogeochemical-ecosystem models (NPZD and BEC) to investigate the cycling of carbon and nutrients. This allows us to model at high resolution the dynamics of the coastal ocean as well as exchanges with the open ocean, the atmosphere and the land. Observational data helps us to assess the model performance and to improve our understanding of the coastal ocean biogeochemistry

Key publications:

Z. Lachkar, N. Gruber “What controls biological production in coastal upwelling systems? Insights from comparative modeling study”, Biogeosciences 8, 2961-2976 (2011).

N. Gruber, H. Frenzel, S. C. Doney, et al. “Eddy-resolving simulation of plankton ecosystem dynamics in the California Current System”, Deep Sea Res. I (2014).

Z. Lachkar, N. Gruber "Response of biological production and air-sea CO2 fluxes to upwelling intensification in the California and Canary Current Systems", Journal of Marine Systems 109-110 (2013).

N. Gruber, C. Hauri, Z. Lachkar, et al. “Rapid progression of ocean acidification in the California Current System”, Science 337, 220 (2012).

N. Gruber, Z. Lachkar, H. Frenzel, et al. “Eddy-induced reduction of biological production in eastern boundary upwelling systems” Nature Geoscience (2011)

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