A coupled 3D hydrodynamic-ecological model was applied to the Santa Marta Coastal Area (SMCA, Colombian Caribbean) to provide insights into the role of external stressors (e.g. wastewater outfall and upwelling) on the water quality and benthic – pelagic coupling. The model was calibrated and validated based on benthic metabolic measurements, satellite–derived chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) and sea surface temperature (SST) maps, field and literature water quality data. The model was able to reproduce the complex dynamics and fast transitions of temperature, nutrients, and phytoplankton, including the stratification and mixing periods during the non-upwelling (NUPW) and upwelling (UPW) seasons. Wide and fast changes in the temperatures and the highly flushed environment prevented excess phytoplankton growth and nutrient accumulation in the benthic and pelagic compartments. The model proved to be a reliable research tool to analyze the interactive effects of upwelling and untreated wastewater on the functioning of a tropical bay.
Biogeochemical modelling of a tropical coastal area undergoing seasonal upwelling and impacted by untreated submarine outfall / Arroyave Gomez, D. M.; Bartoli, M.; Bresciani, M.; Luciani, G.; Toro-Botero, M.. - In: MARINE POLLUTION BULLETIN. - ISSN 0025-326X. - 172(2021), p. 112771.112771. [10.1016/j.marpolbul.2021.112771]
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