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MEPS prepress abstract   -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps14236

Variability of plankton production during the spring bloom in NW Iberia

L. M. García-García*, M. Ruiz-Villarreal

*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: A coupled physical (ROMS) and biogeochemical model (N2PZD2) at a horizontal resolution of 3.5km has been implemented for N and NW Iberia, an area of high productivity associated with upwelling. The physical model has been the object of previous studies and has proven its capability to reproduce well the main oceanographic features in the area (upwelling, river plumes, slope currents, fronts, filaments), which is fundamental to represent properly the variability and distribution of the biogeochemical variables. The biogeochemical model has been set up to account for the main nutrient inputs in the area: a) via upwelling, which required a proper characterization of the nutrient content variability of the Eastern North Atlantic Central Water (ENACW), which was achieved by using a temperature-nitrate relationship obtained from observations to impose nitrate at the open boundaries and b) via rivers. The resulting biophysical model presented good skill in reproducing the timing and interannual variability of the spring bloom when compared with satellite chlorophyll. The comparison with the Instituto Español de Oceanografía (IEO) in situ spring monitoring in Pelacus cruises (that includes plankton) revealed that the model was able to reproduce the variability at shorter scales (days) and demonstrated its ability to complement the observations and help to draw the picture of the variability in the area around the spring transition. To this respect, model and observations showed that productivity on this narrow shelf affected by seasonal upwelling results from the interplay of wind events, river plumes and light intensity, all of them varying at interannual, seasonal and event scales.