Advances in Earth Science ›› 2004, Vol. 19 ›› Issue (4): 621-629. doi: 10.11867/j.issn.1001-8166.2004.04.0621

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SHANG Shao-ling 1;CHAI Fei 1,2;HONG Hua-sheng 1   

  1. 1.Marine Environmental Laboratory of the Ministry of Education of China, Xiamen University,Xiamen 361005,China;2.School of Marine Science, University of Maine, Orono, Maine 04469, USA
  • Received:2003-04-23 Revised:2003-10-24 Online:2004-08-01 Published:2004-08-01

SHANG Shao-ling;CHAI Fei;HONG Hua-sheng1. AN OVERVIEW OF MARINE BIOGEOCHEMICAL MODELING[J]. Advances in Earth Science, 2004, 19(4): 621-629.

The recent development and progress in marine biogoechemical modeling are reviewed and summarized. In general, biogeochemical models can be classified into several different categories according to various physical, biological and chemical processes in the oceans. There are three main types of modeling approaches focusing on physical transport of nutrients, ecosystem dynamics, and temporal variability of biogeochemical processes in the oceans. Ocean current and mixing are dominate processes in supplying nutrients to the euphotic zone. In the upwelling regions, the vertical advection through upwelling is the main mechanism to deliver nutrients. In the central gyre regions, vertical mixing had been thought as a key process to bring nutrients to the surface. Recent field observations and modeling work have suggested that the vertical motion (both upwelling and downwelling) associated with mesoscale eddy activities in the gyre regions can be a potentially important to supply nutrients into the euphotic zone. So far, most models developed for the central gyre regions are onedimensional or coarse resolution threedimensional, and more eddyresolving biogeochemical models are needed. Prior to early 1990’s, most ecosystem models were developed following a general nutrientphytoplanktonzooplanktondetritus (NPDZ) structure. The state variables are single phytoplankton and zooplankton specie, nitrate or phosphate as a limiting nutrient, and a sinking detritus pool. Recently, development of ecosystem model has been advanced with considering multiple limiting nutrients such as iron and silicate, incorporating more phytoplankton and zooplankton functional groups, and separating detritus materials with different sinking velocity. These advances in ecosystem modeling allow us to investigate more complex processes in the oceans, such as nitrogen fixation by cyanobacterium, iron fertilization, and role of remineralization in nutrient and carbon cycle. The ecosystem and biogeochemical processes in responses to climate variability have been main interests in developing and testing models. Prior to 1990’s, most models were focused on reproducing and understanding seasonal cycle and nutrients and phytoplankton dynamics. Recently, lots of progresses have been made in terms of modeling and understanding on how ecosystem dynamics respond to climate variability on longer time scale, such as El Nino and Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). The progresses in biogeochemical modeling have been made rapidly during the past decade, but challenges are still ahead. For example: physical circulation models need to consider mesoscale processes and to resolve eddyinduced nutrient transports; phytoplankton and zooplankton functional groups need to be better incorporated into models based upon both field and laboratory experiments; biogeochemical models need to be linked from global to basin and regional scales, and property exchange at boundaries across these three scales needs more attention; data assimilation technique is also needed to refine parameter values in ecosystem models. In order to build and establish predictive capabilities of biogeochemical models, multidisciplinary observational networks and computing facilities should be developed and supported.

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