Eddies Dynamics, Mixing, Export, and Species composition

Project Description

A project supported jointly by Chemical, Biological, and Physical Oceanography Programs of the National Science Foundation

Prior results have documented eddy-driven transport of nutrients into the euphotic zone and the associated accumulation of chlorophyll. However, several key aspects of mesoscale upwelling events remain unresolved by the extant database, including: (1) phytoplankton physiological response, (2) changes in community structure, (3) impact on export out of the euphotic zone, (4) rates of mixing between the surface mixed layer and the base of the euphotic zone, and (5) implications for biogeochemistry and differential cycling of carbon and associated bioactive elements. This leads to the following hypotheses concerning the complex, non-linear biological regulation of elemental cycling in the ocean:

H1: Eddy-induced upwelling, in combination with diapycnal mixing in the upper ocean, introduces new nutrients into the euphotic zone.  
H2: The increase in inorganic nutrients stimulates a physiological response within the phytoplankton community.  
H3: Differing physiological responses of the various species bring about a shift in community structure.  
H4: Changes in community structure lead to increases in export from, and changes in biogeochemical cycling within, the upper ocean.

Lead Principal Investigator

Dennis McGillicuddy (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

Participating Institutions

WHOI ~ Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
BBSR ~ Bermuda Biological Station for Research
Rutgers ~ Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RSMAS ~ Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science, University of Miami
UCSB ~ University of California, Santa Barbara
VIMS ~ Virginia Institute of Marine Science


WHOI: Dennis McGillicuddy, Ken Buesseler, Bill Jenkins, Jim Ledwell, Valery Kosnyrev, Susan Stasiowski
BBSR: Nick Bates, Rod Johnson
Rutgers: Paul Falkowski, Max Gorbunov, Tom Bibby
RSMAS: Dennis Hansell, Qian Li
UCSB: Dave Siegel

Companion Projects

VIMS: Debbie Steinberg, Sarah Goldthwaite ( Zooplankton community )
Rutgers: Oscar Schofield ( Glider Observations )
UCSB: Craig Carlson ( Microbial Community Structure )

Project Data and Results

Final Database:  access to online relational database of final data (password protected)
EDDIES web site:  online archive of original project cruise data

Related Info

funding is provided by the U.S. National Science Foundation