Studying physical processes in the Southwestern Atlantic to understand BIOlogical productivity & regional ecosystems (SABIO)
Event: 2022 Ocean Surface Topography Science Team Meeting
Session: Science III: Mesoscale and sub-mesoscale oceanography
Presentation type: Type Poster
Contribution: PDF file
The main objective of the OSTST SABIO project is to improve our understanding of the physical processes in the Southwestern Atlantic that impact the biological productivity and the regional ecosystems using satellite altimetry, in-situ and model output data. The objective is motived by the following questions: (Q1) What are the main physical drivers of the large biological activity observed over the Patagonian shelf and slope? (Q2) Does the Malvinas Current (MC) acts more as a blender or as a barrier between open ocean and shelf waters? (Q3) How the different trophic levels (phytoplankton, intermediate trophic levels, elephant seal prey) are structured within the water column according to the oceanographic conditions associated with the foraging habitat (Patagonian shelf, Patagonian upper slope, and oceanic water beyond the MC) targeted by southern elephant seals? The data necessary to answer these questions are obtained through two on-going field experiments. The first experiment collects in-situ physical (temperature, pressure, salinity, currents) data thanks to four fixed moorings that have been deployed in the Patagonian shelf in September 2021. The second experiment is measuring physical (temperature, pressure, salinity, wind) and biological (light and acceleration that are used as a proxy of phytoplankton and prey catch attempt rates) variables at the same time through eleven elephant seals that have been instrumented in Peninsula Valdez (Argentina) in October 2021 and are sampling the Southwestern Atlantic. Taking advantage of the in-situ dataset that are being collected, the project also proposes to answer the following two questions that are complementary to the main objective indicated above: (Q4) What is the contribution of the steric height effect to sea level variability in the Southwestern Atlantic at intra-seasonal scales? (Q5) What are the state-space topologies of the dynamical systems that characterize the Southwestern Atlantic?