EPOC 2017 Scientific Sessions

 

River and tidal plumes in Eastern Boundary Current Systems: Dynamics, variability, and biogeochemical impacts in the coastal ocean

 

The “Blob-to-El Niño” transition: what happened in the CCS?

 

Processes of the continental slope and shelf break

 

Advances and applications of ocean modeling in the eastern Pacific

 

Multiple scales in nearshore physical and biological processes

 

General session: Oceanography of the eastern Pacific Ocean

 

EPOC 2017 Scientific Session Descriptions

River and tidal plumes in Eastern Boundary Current Systems: Dynamics, variability, and biogeochemical impacts in the coastal ocean

 

Co-Chairs: Emily Lemagie (OSU), Gonzalo Saldías (OSU), John Largier (UC Davis/BML)

 

Eastern Boundary Current Systems (EBCS) are characterized as being highly productive regions, which have been historically associated with coastal upwelling. However, coastal waters also receive important freshwater input from rivers and tidal outflows from estuaries, influencing shelf stratification and circulation patterns, nutrient and sediment budgets, pelagic productivity, biogeochemistry and coastal pollution. The dynamics and impact of river plumes in EBCS have been studied principally for large river outflows (i.e. Columbia River plume), whereas plumes from small-scale rivers and estuaries have received less attention, even though small rivers characterize much of the coast in EBCS regions (e.g. central-southern Chile, Washington-Oregon-California, Iberian Peninsula, southern Benguela). We invite submissions on the physical, biogeochemical, and ecological impacts of river and tidal plumes in EBCS. Studies with special emphasis on the less-known plumes from small rivers, and plume systems generated from several or closely spaced rivers are particularly encouraged.

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The “Blob-to-El Niño” transition: what happened in the CCS?

 

Co-Chairs: Andrew Leising (NOAA/NMFS/SWFSC), Art Miller (SIO)

 

During 2015, the California Current System (CCS) transitioned from its previous marine heat wave (aka “Blob”) state to an El Niño impacted state.  The marine heat wave brought anomalously high sea surface temperatures, along with fairly dramatic changes in species and community compositions to many areas of the CCS.  In turn, the El Niño of 2015-2016 was one of the strongest El Niño’s of the past few decades.  The question remains as to how much the pre-existing “blob” conditions affected the full impacts of the El Niño on the system.  Was the blob simply subsumed by El Niño, or did the blob alter the normal El Niño impacts?  Were the features complementary or conflicting?  How did the species and communities respond?  Is what we saw during 2017 a reflection of blob, or El Niño or both?  How did these interactions vary in time and space? This session seeks talks presenting information (physical and/or biological) detailing the nature of the transition between these large-scale climate drivers on the CCS.   

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Processes of the continental slope and shelf break

 

Co-Chairs: Tom Connolly (MLML), Susan Allen (UBC), Matthew Alford (SIO)

 

The processes governing circulation, exchange and mixing over the steep continental slope and shelf break are different from those acting over the broader continental shelf. Observing and modeling this transition between the coast and deep ocean is challenging, but important for understanding biogeochemical fluxes and productivity along eastern ocean boundaries, as well as the role of coastal regions in global ocean circulation. Exchange across the shelf break is restricted by the tendency of geostrophic currents to follow isobaths, but is necessary for upwelling of nutrient-rich water from the deep ocean to the continental shelf. Internal waves shoal and break over the continental slope, creating a regionally and globally significant source of energy for turbulent mixing. However, exchange and turbulent mixing are highly variable in time and space, particularly near submarine canyons which intersect the slope and focus internal waves. The steep, complex bathymetry and three-dimensional circulation at the slope and shelf break make it difficult to quantify fluxes of nutrients, oxygen and other water mass properties. Recent advances in ocean observing technology, biogeochemical sensors and cross-scale biophysical modeling have made it possible to link important physical processes at small alongshore scales to broader regional and global questions. In this session, we welcome contributions that span multiple scales and disciplines to gain new insight into physical and ecosystem dynamics over the continental slope and shelf break.

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Advances and applications of ocean modeling in the eastern Pacific

 

Co-Chairs: Christopher Edwards (UCSC), Sam Siedlecki (JISAO/UW), Parker MacCready (UW)

 

Tremendous progress has been made in simulating ocean conditions, forecasting or projecting conditions into the future, and expanding ocean models to represent increasingly complex tracers and biological processes. These advances include biological data assimilation, regional downscaling techniques, and improvements in model design (e.g., via rivers and boundary conditions). In addition to the technological advances, models are increasingly being utilized to address a wide range of scientific issues from small-scale physics to upper trophic level interactions including those of interest to fisheries management. As a result, models are becoming ever more relevant as decision support tools in addition to their ability to integrate large data sets and investigate mechanisms and processes. In this session, we invite submissions characterizing the latest model developments and scientific research on simulating the oceanic environment from physics to fish in the Eastern Pacific.

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Multiple scales in nearshore physical and biological processes

 

Co-Chairs: Jesús Pineda (WHOI), Nathalie Reyns (USD), Nirnimesh Kumar (UW)

 

Many nearshore physical and biological processes tend to have small spatial and temporal scales, and yet these processes can also vary at larger spatial and temporal scales. For example, sea level varies in response to surface gravity waves and tides, but it also has significant seasonal and interannual (El Niño) variability. However, except in few cases, there is little understanding on how small- and large-scale processes are coupled, and on the consequences of these couplings. This is particularly true where scales of physical and biological processes are involved. Furthermore, long term implications of biological-physical processes on water property exchange (heat, pollutants, biota, larvae, sediment) is poorly understood. This session invites presentations that explore the variety of scales in physical, chemical, geomorphological, and biological processes in the nearshore, and the coupling between small and large-scale processes.

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General session: Oceanography of the eastern Pacific Ocean

 

Co-Chairs: TBD

As always, there will be a general session that is open to any topic. If you would like to give a presentation that does not fit into the topics above, submit an abstract to the general session!

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