Journal cover Journal topic
Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Journal topic
Volume 10, issue 6
Biogeosciences, 10, 4103-4115, 2013
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-10-4103-2013
© Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Special issue: Deep-sea ecosystems in European seas

Biogeosciences, 10, 4103-4115, 2013
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-10-4103-2013
© Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 20 Jun 2013

Research article | 20 Jun 2013

Application of a lagrangian transport model to organo-mineral aggregates within the Nazaré canyon

S. Pando1, M. F. Juliano2, R. García3, P. A. de Jesus Mendes1, and L. Thomsen1 S. Pando et al.
  • 1Jacobs University Bremen, Oceanlab, Bremen, Germany
  • 2LAMTec, Laboratory of Marine Environment and Technology, University of Azores, Praia da Vitória, Azores, Portugal
  • 3Instituto Mediterraneo de Estudios Avanzados (CSIC-UIB), Esporles, Balearic Islands, Spain

Abstract. In this study, a hydrodynamic model was applied to the Nazaré submarine canyon with boundary forcing provided by an operational forecast model for the west Iberian coast for the spring of 2009. After validation, a lagrangian transport model was coupled to the hydrodynamic model to study and compare the transport patterns of three different classes of organo-mineral aggregates along the Nazaré canyon. The results show that the transport in the canyon is neither constant, nor unidirectional and that there are preferential areas where deposited matter is resuspended and redistributed. The transport of the larger class size of organo-mineral aggregates (2000 μm and 4000 μm) is less pronounced, and a decrease in the phytodetrital carbon flux along the canyon is observed. During the modelled period, the Nazaré canyon acts as a depocentre of sedimentary organic matter rather than a conduit of organo-mineral aggregates to the deep sea, as has been reported by other authors. The results of this study are crucial for the understanding of the oceanic carbon sequestration at the continental margin, and therefore important for evaluating the role of submarine canyons within the global carbon cycle.

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