Processes Affecting Upper Ocean Chemical Structure in an Eastern Boundary Current

  • James J. Simpson
Part of the NATO Conference Series book series (NATOCS, volume 17)


The primary transport and transformation processes which alter the chemical speciation and structure of the upper (100–200 m) ocean within 1000 km of the Californian coast have been examined from the process-oriented perspective of space and time scale analysis. In this region of the ocean, upwelling, offshore mesoscale eddies and large-scale “El Niño”-type processes dominate. Each of these physical processes has a velocity field which transports chemical species into and out of the euphotic zone in a unique way. Likewise, each of the resulting mass transports produces a chemical signature which unambiguously characterizes that physical process. Major alteration of chemical species which occurs within the euphotic zone is associated with primary biological productivity. The results presented here for the California Current may have general application for the interpretation of near-surface chemical variability observed in large areas of the world’s oceans.


Euphotic Zone Coastal Upwelling California CUrrent California CUrrent System Coastal Zone Color Scanner 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • James J. Simpson
    • 1
  1. 1.Scripps Institution of OceanographyLa JollaUSA

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