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Ocean Science An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2020-73
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2020-73
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  03 Aug 2020

03 Aug 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal OS.

Diapycnal mixing across the photic zone of the NE-Atlantic

Hans van Haren, Corina P. D. Brussaard, Loes J. A. Gerringa, Mathijs H. van Manen, Rob Middag, and Ruud Groenewegen Hans van Haren et al.
  • Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ) and Utrecht University, P.O. Box 59, 1790 AB Den Burg, the Netherlands

Abstract. Variable physical conditions such as vertical turbulent exchange, internal wave and mesoscale eddy action, affect the availability of light and nutrients for phytoplankton (unicellular algae) growth. It is hypothesized that changes in ocean temperature may affect ocean vertical density stratification, which may hamper vertical exchange. In order to quantify variations in physical conditions in the Northeast Atlantic Ocean, we sampled a latitudinal transect along 17 ± 5° W between 30 and 62° N in summer. A shipborne Conductivity-Temperature-Depth CTD-instrumented package was used with a custom-made modification of the pump-inlet to minimize detrimental effects of ship motions on its data. Thorpe-scale analysis was used to establish turbulence values for the upper 500 m near the surface from 3 to 6 profiles obtained in a short CTD-yoyo, 3 to 5 h after local sunrise. From south to north, temperature decreased together with stratification while turbulence values weakly increased or remained constant. Vertical turbulent nutrient fluxes across the stratification did not vary with latitude. This lack of correspondence between turbulent mixing and temperature is suggested to be due to internal waves breaking and acting as a potential feed-back mechanism. Our findings suggest that nutrient availability for phytoplankton in the euphotic surface waters may not be affected by the physical process of global warming.

Hans van Haren et al.

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Hans van Haren et al.

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Short summary
Changes in ocean temperature may affect vertical density stratification, which may hamper turbulent exchange and thus nutrient availability for phytoplankton growth. To quantify varying physical conditions, we sampled the upper 500 m along 17 ± 5° W between [30, 62]° N in summer. From south to north, temperature decreased with stratification while turbulence and nutrient fluxes remained constant, likely due to internal waves breaking and little affected by the physical process of global warming.
Changes in ocean temperature may affect vertical density stratification, which may hamper...
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