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Evidence for Kilometer-Scale Biophysical Features at the Gulf Stream Front

Publication ,  Journal Article
Gray, PC; Savelyev, I; Cassar, N; Lévy, M; Boss, E; Lehahn, Y; Bourdin, G; Thompson, KA; Windle, A; Gronniger, J; Floge, S; Hunt, DE ...
Published in: Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
March 1, 2024

Understanding the interplay of ocean physics and biology at the submesoscale and below (<30 km) is an ongoing challenge in oceanography. While poorly constrained, these scales may be of critical importance for understanding how changing ocean dynamics will impact marine ecosystems. Fronts in the ocean, regions where two disparate water masses meet and isopycnals become tilted toward vertical, are considered hotspots for biophysical interaction, but there is limited observational evidence at the appropriate scales to assess their importance. Fronts around western boundary currents like the Gulf Stream are of particular interest as these dynamic physical regions are thought to influence both productivity and composition of primary producers; however, how exactly this plays out is not well known. Using satellite data and 2 years of in situ observations across the Gulf Stream front near Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, we investigate how submesoscale frontal dynamics could affect biological communities and generate hotspots of productivity and export. We assess the seasonality and phenology of the region, generalize the kilometer-scale structure of the front, and analyze 69 transects to assess two physical processes of potential biogeochemical importance: cold shelf filament subduction and high salinity Sargasso Sea obduction. We link these processes observationally to meanders in the Gulf Stream and discuss how cold filament subduction could be exporting carbon and how obduction of high salinity water from depth is connected with high chlorophyll-a. Finally, we report on phytoplankton community composition in each of these features and integrate these observations into our understanding of frontal submesoscale dynamics.

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Published In

Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans

DOI

EISSN

2169-9291

ISSN

2169-9275

Publication Date

March 1, 2024

Volume

129

Issue

3

Related Subject Headings

  • 3709 Physical geography and environmental geoscience
  • 3708 Oceanography
  • 3706 Geophysics
  • 0406 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience
  • 0405 Oceanography
  • 0404 Geophysics
 

Citation

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Gray, P. C., Savelyev, I., Cassar, N., Lévy, M., Boss, E., Lehahn, Y., … Johnston, D. W. (2024). Evidence for Kilometer-Scale Biophysical Features at the Gulf Stream Front. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 129(3). https://doi.org/10.1029/2023JC020526
Gray, P. C., I. Savelyev, N. Cassar, M. Lévy, E. Boss, Y. Lehahn, G. Bourdin, et al. “Evidence for Kilometer-Scale Biophysical Features at the Gulf Stream Front.” Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 129, no. 3 (March 1, 2024). https://doi.org/10.1029/2023JC020526.
Gray PC, Savelyev I, Cassar N, Lévy M, Boss E, Lehahn Y, et al. Evidence for Kilometer-Scale Biophysical Features at the Gulf Stream Front. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans. 2024 Mar 1;129(3).
Gray, P. C., et al. “Evidence for Kilometer-Scale Biophysical Features at the Gulf Stream Front.” Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, vol. 129, no. 3, Mar. 2024. Scopus, doi:10.1029/2023JC020526.
Gray PC, Savelyev I, Cassar N, Lévy M, Boss E, Lehahn Y, Bourdin G, Thompson KA, Windle A, Gronniger J, Floge S, Hunt DE, Silsbe G, Johnson ZI, Johnston DW. Evidence for Kilometer-Scale Biophysical Features at the Gulf Stream Front. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans. 2024 Mar 1;129(3).

Published In

Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans

DOI

EISSN

2169-9291

ISSN

2169-9275

Publication Date

March 1, 2024

Volume

129

Issue

3

Related Subject Headings

  • 3709 Physical geography and environmental geoscience
  • 3708 Oceanography
  • 3706 Geophysics
  • 0406 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience
  • 0405 Oceanography
  • 0404 Geophysics