Seasonal variability of nutrients in the Yangtze Estuary and adjacent waters: A model study

Friday, 19 December 2014
Haibo Zong and Pingxing Ding, East China Normal University, Shanghai, China
Eutrophication has been one of the major threats to the coastal ecosystem. Several factors are believed to be associated with eutrophication, which including the high nutrient loads delivered into the estuary from river. Yangtze river is the longest river in China. It brings huge amount of nutrients into the Yangtze Estuary (YE) and adjacent East China Sea (ECS) and contributes significantly to the eutrophication in estuary and the adjacent waters. The eutrophication in this region exhibits strong seasonal variability, with the worst situation occurring in summer. This seasonal variability might be coupled with the timing of riverine nutrient inputs and physical processes (wind and along-shore current).

To study seasonal variability of nutrients (N/P) in YE, a 3D physical-biological coupled model was applied to the YE and its adjacent waters. The physical model was the Regional Ocean Model System (ROMS) and the biological model was a nitrogen, phytoplankton, zooplankton, and detritus (NPZD) model. The simulated nutrients distribution pattern was consistent with observation. With the numerical experiments, we examined nutrients transport under different river loads and different physical processes. Seasonal variability of nutrients budget in YE and alone-shelf transport flux were also studied.