Special Oceanography Seminar - Wilford Gardner & Mary Jo Richardson

October 10, 3:00pm - 4:30pm
Mānoa Campus, Marine Sciences Building 114 Add to Calendar

“Benthic Storms, Nepheloid Layers, and Linkage with Upper Ocean Dynamics in the Western North Atlantic and Globally”

Benthic storms are episodic periods of strong abyssal currents and intense, benthic nepheloid (turbid) layer development. In order to interpret the driving forces that create and sustain these storms, we synthesize measurements of deep ocean currents, nephelometer-based particulate matter (PM) concentrations, and seafloor time-series photographs collected during several science programs that spanned two decades in the western North Atlantic. Benthic storms occurred in areas with high sea-surface eddy kinetic energy, and they most frequently occurred beneath the meandering Gulf Stream or its associated rings, which generate deep cyclones, anticyclones, and/or topographic waves; these create currents with sufficient bed-shear stress to erode and resuspend sediment, thus initiating or enhancing benthic storms. Outside of areas with high surface and deep eddy kinetic energy, benthic nepheloid layers are weak to non-existent, indicating that benthic storms are necessary to create and maintain strong nepheloid layers. Understanding the location and generation of benthic nepheloid layers will aide in interpreting the influence of nepheloid layers on global biogeochemistry.


Global maps of bottom PM concentration, nepheloid layer thickness, and excess mass within nepheloid layers will be presented.

Event Sponsor
Oceanography, Mānoa Campus

More Information
Anna Neuheimer , (808) 956-2613, annabn@hawaii.edu

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