Numerical Models of Phytoplankton Dynamics for Shallow Estuaries

by Lisa L. Vidergar, Stanford Univ, Stanford, United States,
Jeffrey R. Koseff, Stanford Univ, Stanford, United States,
Stephen G. Monismith, Stanford Univ, Stanford, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulic Engineering


The relationship between physical processes and phytoplankton population dynamics in coastal ocean waters is a complicated issue largely because of the shallowness of the water column, stratification induced by freshwater, bathymetric variations, turbidity, and grazing by benthic suspension feeders. With the goal of identifying the physical and biological conditions necessary for the inception and termination of a phytoplankton bloom, a time-dependent numerical model of phytoplankton biomass dynamics has been developed. Both one-dimensional and pseudo-two-dimensional versions of this model have been used to illuminate the relative importance of density stratification, vertical turbulent mixing, horizontal transport, and benthic grazing rates with respect to the occurrence of phytoplankton blooms in shallow estuaries.

Subject Headings: Numerical models | Dynamic models | Estuaries | Coastal processes | Physical models | Thermal analysis | Sea water | Columns

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