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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2019-239
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2019-239
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: model description paper 01 Oct 2019

Submitted as: model description paper | 01 Oct 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Geoscientific Model Development (GMD).

A coupled pelagic-benthic-sympagic biogeochemical model for the Bering Sea: documentation and validation of the BESTNPZ model (v2019.08.23) within a high-resolution regional ocean model

Kelly Kearney1,2, Albert Hermann1,3, Wei Cheng1,3, Ivonne Ortiz1,2, and Kerim Aydin2 Kelly Kearney et al.
  • 1University of Washington, Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Oceans (JISAO), Seattle, WA, USA
  • 2NOAA Alaska Fisheries Science Center, Seattle, WA, USA
  • 3NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, Seattle, WA, USA

Abstract. The Bering Sea is a highly productive ecosystem, supporting a variety of fish, seabird, and marine mammal populations as well as large commercial fisheries. Due to its unique shelf geometry and the presence of seasonal sea ice, the processes controlling productivity in the Bering Sea ecosystem span the pelagic water column, the benthic sea floor, and the sympagic sea ice environments. The BESTNPZ model has been developed to simulate the lower trophic level processes throughout this region. Here, we present a version of this lower trophic level model coupled to a three-dimensional regional ocean model for the Bering Sea. We quantify the model's ability to reproduce key physical features of biological importance as well as its skill in capturing the seasonal and interannual variations in primary and secondary productivity. We find that the ocean model demonstrates considerable skill in replicating observed horizontal and vertical patterns of water movement, mixing, and stratification, as well as the temperature and salinity signatures of various water masses throughout the Bering Sea. It is also able to capture the mean seasonal cycle of primary production observed on the data-rich eastern middle shelf. However, its ability to replicate domain-wide patterns in nutrient cycling, primary production, and zooplankton community composition, particularly with respect to the interannual variations that are important in a fisheries management context, remains limited.

Kelly Kearney et al.
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Status: open (until 26 Nov 2019)
Status: open (until 26 Nov 2019)
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Kelly Kearney et al.
Model code and software

roms-bering-sea: ROMS source code for the Bering Sea domain, including BESTNPZ and FEAST biological modules K. Kearney, A. Hermann, W. Cheng, I. Ortiz, and K. Aydin https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3376314

Kelly Kearney et al.
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Short summary
We describe an ecosystem model for the Bering Sea. Biological components in the Bering Sea can be found in the water column, on and within the bottom sediments, and within the porous lower layer of seasonal sea ice. This model simulates the exchange of material between nutrients and plankton within all three environments. Here, we thoroughly document the model and assess its skill in capturing key biophysical features across the Bering Sea.
We describe an ecosystem model for the Bering Sea. Biological components in the Bering Sea can...
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