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  • Undergraduate Poster Abstracts
  • Oceanography

    FRI-907 IDENTIFYING PHYSICAL-BIOLOGICAL INTERACTIONS AND VARIABILITY IN OCEAN EDDIES IN THE CALIFORNIA CURRENT SYSTEM THROUGH OCEANOGRAPHIC MODELING

    • Maria Winters ;
    • Arthur Miller ;

    FRI-907

    IDENTIFYING PHYSICAL-BIOLOGICAL INTERACTIONS AND VARIABILITY IN OCEAN EDDIES IN THE CALIFORNIA CURRENT SYSTEM THROUGH OCEANOGRAPHIC MODELING

    Maria Winters, Arthur Miller.

    Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA.

    The California Current System (CCS) is one of the most productive ocean ecosystems in the world as it plays a vital role in the climate of the western United States and in Pacific Coast fisheries. To better understand and predict the effects of long-term climate change and other weather events on this ecosystem, comparing output from numerical models to observations is a crucial tool. Utilizing a combined physical-biological model of the CCS, we aimed to identify correlations between ocean physics and phytoplankton communities in this ecosystem within physical ocean structures called eddies. Phytoplankton are the foundation of the marine food web, and eddies can circulate nutrients in otherwise nutrient-poor waters, affecting phytoplankton populations and potentially the whole ecosystem. The computer programming language MATLAB was used to analyze simulations from the model due to its ability to plot substantial data amounts and because of the model’s specific network common data form (NetCDF) file type. Assorted plotting techniques were applied to quantitatively assess phytoplankton concentrations and physical conditions, such as temperature and salinity, at multiple locations and times. These included contour plots, time-progression animations, and 3D time-space plots. We expect our results, with further statistical analysis, will show that phytoplankton communities develop differently within the depths of eddies due to variances in nutrient availability and ocean physics. These results may provide more accuracy to predictions made using this physical-biological model of the CCS, which can ultimately guide policy creation to preserve this ocean ecosystem amidst global climate change.

    THU-901 CALIBRATION OF PRODUCTIVITY PROXY BASED ON FISH TOOTH FLUX AND BIOGENIC BARIUM IN PACIFIC DEEP-SEA SEDIMENTS

    • Karissa Vincent ;
    • Richard Norris ;

    THU-901

    CALIBRATION OF PRODUCTIVITY PROXY BASED ON FISH TOOTH FLUX AND BIOGENIC BARIUM IN PACIFIC DEEP-SEA SEDIMENTS

    Karissa Vincent1, Richard Norris2.

    1Wheaton College, Norton, MA, 2Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA.

    Biological production is a key variable in paleoceanography, yet most measures reflect the detailed responses of specific biological communities, opal for biosiliceous producters, alkenones for some coccolithophorids, and percent carbonate for a heterogeneous mixture of calcareous phytoplankton and zooplankton, among others. We are developing a new method for extracting biogenic barite and fish teeth from deep-sea sediments and calibrating the fluxes of both components to satellite-derived ocean productivity. Both fish teeth and barite capture major components of biological production in the ocean. Teeth capture dynamics of high trophic level communities who depend upon lower level production in mostly short food chains. Barite reflects export flux of marine particulate carbon, and hence records the major producers of marine snow. Our methods digest sediments to remove carbonates and concentrate teeth with heavy liquid separation. Barite is also concentrated by acid dissolution of carbonate, but then we dissolve barite, collect the sulfate in solution, and re-precipitate barite rather than use the time-consuming and dangerous methods that are currently the industry standard. Counting the number of fish teeth present in the sample and extracting the amount of biogenic barium will show 2 different proxies of productivity. The sample sites range throughout the Pacific Ocean, giving a wide scope of variability along with satellite productivity levels. The results between the amount of fish teeth as well as the biogenic barite levels will hopefully be at a similar level, indicating that this method is a new tried and true proxy for productivity in the future.