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INTEGRATED MODELING OF THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA COASTAL OCEAN: BIOGEOCHEMISTRY AND PARTICULATE DYNAMICS

  • Author(s): Stolzenbach, Keith D.
  • McWilliams, James C.
  • et al.
Abstract

The Southern California Coastal Ocean (SCCO), defined as the region inclusive of the Southern California Bight and the Santa Barbara Channel, from the shoreline to beyond the continental shelf, has significant anthropogenic injections of many materials through the air, rivers, runoff, outfalls, sediments, and marine spills. These inputs are superposed on a dynamic system of internal processes including water motions, biological production in the surface layers, particle sinking, dissolution, and scavenging. In spite of lengthy and continuing sequences of SCCO measurements at various scales, a synthetical understanding and an ability to make skillful predictions and comprehensive assessments of the fate and transport of these materials in the SCCO remains illusive. In many cases the interpretation of localized measurements lacks a regional context. Conversely, there is little information on the regional impacts of localized sources. It is clear that an integrated computational model of the most relevant processes is needed before these goals can be achieved. An integrated model will be of great value to environmental managers responsible for sewage discharges, storm water discharges, and coastal fisheries. The overall project objective is to develop, test, and use for practical purposes an integrated computational model of the physical, chemical, and biological processes relevant to the distributions of natural and anthropogenically injected materials in the Southern California.

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