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High Productivity on a Coastal Bank: Physical and Biological Interactions

Stellwagen Bank supports a multiplicity of life forms, from plankton to whales. This project seeks to mathematically model the interplay among physical and biological processes that support the productivity of the Bank’s ecosystem. The multi-scale MSEAS modeling system is being used to determine the roles of physical features and processes (e.g. topography, internal tides/waves, recirculation eddies, coastal currents, etc.) in distributing nutrients and thus the production and retention of phytoplankton biomass. The modeling research will involve both idealized and realistic simulations so as to isolate and characterize processes, and will be validated using historical and available synoptic data.