Articles | Volume 18, issue 14
Biogeosciences, 18, 4281–4303, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-18-4281-2021
Biogeosciences, 18, 4281–4303, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-18-4281-2021
Research article
22 Jul 2021
Research article | 22 Jul 2021

Do Loop Current eddies stimulate productivity in the Gulf of Mexico?

Pierre Damien et al.

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Ascani, F., Richards, K. J., Firing, E., Grant, S., Johnson, K. S., Jia, Y., Lukas, R., and Karl, D. M.: Physical and biological controls of nitrate concentrations in the upper subtropical North Pacific Ocean, Deep Sea Res. Pt. II, 93, 119–134, 2013. 
Aumont, O. and Bopp, L.: Globalizing results from ocean in situ iron fertilization studies, Global Biogeochem. Cy., 20, GB2017, https://doi.org/10.1029/2005GB002591, 2006. 
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Badan, Jr., A., Candela, J., Sheinbaum, J., and Ochoa, J.: Upper-layer circulation in the approaches to Yucatan Channel, Washington DC American Geophysical Union Geophysical Monograph Series, 161, 57–69, 2005. 
Barnett, T. P., Pierce, D. W., and Schnur, R.: Detection of anthropogenic climate change in the world's oceans, Science, 292, 270–274, 2001. 
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Short summary
The Gulf of Mexico deep waters are relatively poor in phytoplankton biomass due to low levels of nutrients in the upper layers. Using modeling techniques, we find that the long-living anticyclonic Loop Current eddies that are shed episodically from the Yucatan Channel strongly shape the distribution of phytoplankton and, more importantly, stimulate their growth. This results from the contribution of multiple mechanisms of physical–biogeochemical interactions discussed in this study.
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