OMEX II-II 1997-2000 : Project Description

Work Package II

Spatial and Seasonal Fluxes and Biogeochemical Processes in the Water Column

The overall aim of Work Package II (WP II) is to measure and to model the mesoscale spatial and seasonal variability in the oceanic, coastal and terrestrial sources of water, particles, carbon and nutrient elements in shelf, upwelling and slope waters of the Iberian Margin.

A multidisciplinary task force of scientists will generate the essential hydrodynamic and biogeochemical data needed to quantify the mesoscale distributions of the summer upwelling and filament regime, and the winter discharge and eddy regime along NW Iberian Margin. Our aim is to construct budgets of the flows of water, carbon and nitrogen through an approximately 100 x 100 km box at the Iberian Margin. WP II strategy combines moorings fitted with current meters and sediment traps with on-shelf cruise tracks for hydrography, turbulence, carbon, nutrients, plankton and satellite remote sensing. WP II partners employ advanced hydrographical techniques, tracers for water masses, turbulence probes, and high resolution chemical methods that measure all forms of carbon, nitrogen and plankton biomass in the seawater.

The resulting biogeochemical and hydrodynamical data fields will make it possible to complete a regional mass balance for carbon and nitrogen in the water column, to "seatruth" and to develop mapped products from satellite sensed images. Moreover, an important aim of the WP II is to validate 3-D numerical circulation models of the Iberian Margin.

Within the framework of the mesoscale box, WP II studies will specifically address:

  1. The balance of terrestrial versus marine sources of nutrients;

  2. Whether upwelling systems are net ventilators of supersaturated CO2 or biological pumps for drawdown of atmospheric CO2;

  3. The coupling between climate, upwelling and ocean margin fertility;

  4. The quantitative role of upwelling, longshelf, longslope and filaments in the export of organic matter to the ocean;

  5. Whether the slopes act as "depocentres" for the burial of carbon on the Iberian Margin.


Back to the OMEX Home Page Back to the OMEX Home Page       

Updated : 11 September 2003,  Feedback :