Simulation of Phytoplankton Distributions and Variations in the Bering-Chukchi Sea with a 3-D Physical Biological Model

Haoguo Hu, CIGLR, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, United States, Jia Wang, NOAA, Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, Ann Arbor, MI, United States, Hui Liu, Texas A&M University at Galveston, Department of Marine Biology, Galveston, TX, United States and Joaquim I Goes, Lamont -Doherty Earth Observatory, Palisades, NY, United States
A three dimensional physical-biological model was used to simulate the seasonal phytoplankton variations in the Bering Sea, especially, focus on the physical and biochemical mechanisms of forming the “Bering Sea Green Belt” and Subsurface Chlorophyll Maxima (SCM). Observations show that the SCM exist at the layer right under the thermocline, model analyses indicate that the layer has rich nutrients and light can penetrate to. With regards to the horizontal distribution, results suggest that it is controlled by integrated factors of light, temperature, and nutrients. Case experiments conclude plankton-sinking function is important for simulation. The spatial bloom timing was triggered by different factors: light controls the phytoplankton bloom in the deep Bering basin; the sea ice plays the key role on the bloom in the Bering shelf; and temperature is responsible to the bloom in the Chukchi Sea.