Title: Fueling Plankton Production By a Meandering Frontal Jet: A Case Study For The Alboran Sea (Western Mediterranean)
Citation: PLOS ONE vol. 9 no. 11 p. e111482
Publication Year: 2014
JRC N°: JRC90602
ISSN: 1932-6203
URI: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0111482
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0111482
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: A three dimensional biophysical model is employed to investigate the biological impacts of a meandering frontal jet for which the Alboran Sea of the Western Mediterranean is considered as a case study. The jet is characterized by relatively low density Atlantic water mass issuing from the Gibraltar Strait within the upper 100 m. It flows eastward as a highly nonlinear meandering current around the western and the eastern anticyclonic gyres prior to its attachment to the North African shelf/slope topography of the Algerian basin. Its inherent nonlinearity leads to the development of strong ageostrophic cross-frontal circulation that supplies nutrients into the nutrient-starved euphotic layer and stimulates an effective phytoplankton growth along the jet. The production intensity is strongest in the western basin and decreases eastwards with the gradual weakening of the jet. The stronger production intensity at the subsurface levels suggests the Alboran Sea is likely more productive than envisaged by the satellite chlorophyll data. The Mediterranean water mass away from the jet as well as the interior of the western and eastern anticyclonic gyres remain poorly productive.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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