An estimate of diapycnal nutrient fluxes to the euphotic zone in the Florida Straits
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An estimate of diapycnal nutrient fluxes to the euphotic zone in the Florida Straits
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  • Source:
    Scientific Reports, 7(8).
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  • Description:
    A recent hydrographic survey of the Florida Current at 27 degrees N revealed an enhanced upward flux of nutrients along the Florida coast. Geostrophic flow of the Gulf Stream through the narrow Florida Straits causes an uplift of the nutricline toward its western edge, shoaling the mixed layers into the base of the euphotic zone. At a nearshore station, nitrate, phosphate, and silicate concentrations reached 19, 1.4, and 10 mu M, respectively, at a water depth of 27 m. Furthermore, nutrient vertical gradients below the mixed layer increased with decreasing seafloor depth toward the Florida coast. The estimated vertical eddy diffusive nutrient fluxes across diapycnal surfaces reached 0.40-83.7, 0.03-6.24, and 0.24-45.5 mmol m(-2) d(-1) for nitrate, phosphate, and silicate, respectively, along the shore. Estimated fluxes span a wide range due to the range of diffusivity measured. The lower end of estimated fluxes are comparable to open ocean values, but higher end of estimates are two orders of magnitude greater than those observed in open ocean. The diapycnal nutrient fluxes declined rapidly offshore as a result of decreasing vertical gradients of nutrient concentration.
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