Coupled ocean-shelf ecosystem modelling of northern North Atlantic

James Harle1, Jason T Holt2, Momme Butensch├Ân3 and J Icarus Allen3, (1)National Oceanography Centre, UK, Liverpool, United Kingdom, (2)National Oceanography Center, Liverpool, United Kingdom, (3)Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Plymouth, United Kingdom
The biogeochemistry and ecosystems of the open-ocean and shelf seas are intimately connected. For example Northwest European continental shelf receives a substantial fraction of its nutrients from the wider North Atlantic and exports carbon at depth, sequestering it from atmospheric exchange. In the EC FP7 EuroBasin project (Holt et al 2014) we have developed a 1/12 degree basin-scale NEMO-ERSEM model with specific features relevant to shelf seas (e.g. tides and advanced vertical mixing schemes). This model is eddy resolving in the open-ocean, and resolves barotropic scales on-shelf. We use this model to explore the interaction between finely resolved physical processes and the ecosystem. Here we focus on shelf-sea processes and the connection between the shelf seas and open-ocean, and compare results with a 1/4 degree (eddy permitting) model that does not include shelf sea processes. We find tidal mixing fronts and river plume are well represented in the 1/12 degree model. Using approaches developed for the NW Shelf (Holt et al 2012), we provide estimates of across-shelf break nutrient fluxes to the seas surrounding this basin, and relate these fluxes and their interannual variability to the physical processes driving ocean-shelf exchange.

Holt, J., et al, 2012. Oceanic controls on the primary production of the northwest European continental shelf: model experiments under recent past conditions and a potential future scenario. Biogeosciences 9, 97-117.

Holt, J., et al, 2014. Challenges in integrative approaches to modelling the marine ecosystems of the North Atlantic: Physics to Fish and Coasts to Ocean. Progress in Oceanography doi:10.1016/j.pocean.2014.04.024.