A new coupled, one-dimensional biological-physical model for the upper ocean: Applications to the JGOFS Bermuda Atlantic Time-series Study (BATS) site Academic Article uri icon


  • This paper presents a new coupled, one dimensional biological-physical model applied to the subtropical region near Bermuda. The physical component of the model, which is driven by smooth climatological forcing, successfully reproduces the long-term seasonal cycles of upper ocean temperature, salinity and boundary layer depth from Hydrostation S. The nitrogen-based biological model, which includes the effects of photoadaptation, phytoplankton aggregation, and particle remineralization in the aphotic zone, shows significant skill in capturing the major features of the annual chlorophyll field (e.g. spring bloom, deep chlorophyll maximum) and depth-integrated chlorophyll and primary production as exhibited by the U.S. JGOFS Bermuda Atlantic Time-series Study (BATS) data. The introduction of variable phytoplankton chlorophyll-to-nitrogen ratios is found to be important for simulating the subsurface chlorophyll maximum, and the model solutions show a realistic deep nitracline in the summer and a low annual average-f-ratio of similar to 0.21 compared to previous modeling work. The performance of the model solutions are weakest during the late summer, when the model can not supply enough nutrients to support the high production observed in the stratified near-surface waters. The coupled model has large winter production values, leading to a substantial export of organic material from the euphotic zone via downward turbulent mixing. The model predicts a total export production from the euphotic zone of 0.24 mol N m(-2) year(-1), approximately equally partitioned between particle sinking and suspended matter detrainment. The bulk of the export production is remineralized in the shallow aphotic zone, and only a small fraction is transported below the depth of the maximum winter mixed layer and thus contributes to ‘’biological pump”. Copyright (C) 1996 Elsevier Science Ltd

publication date

  • January 1996