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Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2020-58
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2020-58
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 25 Mar 2020

Submitted as: research article | 25 Mar 2020

Review status
A revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal BG.

The Role of Sediment-induced Light Attenuation on Primary Production during Hurricane Gustav (2008)

Zhengchen Zang1,a, Z. George Xue1,2,3, Kehui Xu1,3, Samuel J. Bentley3,4, Qin Chen5, Eurico J. D'Sa1,3, Le Zhang1, and Yanda Ou1 Zhengchen Zang et al.
  • 1Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA
  • 2Center for Computation and Technology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA
  • 3Coastal Studies Institute, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA
  • 4Department of Geology and Geophysics, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA
  • 5Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, 02115, USA
  • anow at: now at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA, 02543

Abstract. We introduce a sediment-induced light attenuation algorithm into the biogeochemical model of the Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS). A fully coupled ocean-atmospheric-sediment-biogeochemical simulation is carried out to assess the impact of sediment-induced light attenuation on primary production in the northern Gulf of Mexico during Hurricane Gustav in 2008. The new model shows a better agreement with satellite data on both the magnitude of nearshore chlorophyll concentration and the distribution of offshore bloom. When Gustav approaches, resuspended sediments shift the inner shelf ecosystem from a nutrient-limited one to light-limited. One week after Gustav’s landfall, accumulated nutrient and favorable optical environment induces a post-hurricane algal bloom in the top 20 m of water column, while the productivity in the lower column is still light-limited due to unsettled sediment. Corresponding with the elevated offshore NO3 flux (38.71 mmol N/m/s) and decreased chlorophyll flux (43.10 mg/m/s), the post-hurricane bloom in the outer shelf is resulted from the cross-shelf nutrient supply instead of the lateral dispersed chlorophyll. Sensitivity tests indicate sediment light attenuation efficiency affects primary production when sediment concentration is moderately high.

Zhengchen Zang et al.

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Status: final response (author comments only)
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Zhengchen Zang et al.

Zhengchen Zang et al.

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