The general objective of MORENA is to measure, understand and model shelf open ocean exchange in the coastal upwelling region of the eastern boundary layer of the subtropical ocean. This is to be attained by quantitatively understanding the physical, chemical and biological processes involved in the transfer of matter (salt, particulates, nutrients, organic compounds, biomass), momentum, and energy across and along the shelf, the shelf break, and the slope in the Iberian region of the Atlantic.
MORENA has the following structural elements:
1) Observations - a programme using in situ techniques (research ships, self-recording instruments, surface drifters) and satellite remote sensing methods (thermal, colour and microwave), focusing on significant processes;
2) Modelling - a new generation of numerical and laboratory models needed to treat specific phenomena on the scales required, and to provide a theoretical framework for understanding the nature of the relevant processes and interpreting the field data;
3) Combined analysis - an integration of the information obtained and analyzed separately under the observational and the modelling components, consisting in validation of model results against in situ and satellite data, comparison of results derived from different models, and data assimilation techniques.
Advection and dispersion processes will be investigated by studying the physical dynamics of slope and shelf currents, upwelling and subduction, topographic long waves, internal waves, mesoscale eddies, jets and filaments, surface and bottom boundary layers, and fronts, driven by wind stress, atmospheric pressure, buoyancy fluxes, topographic steering, bottom stress, and oceanic (far-field) effects like tides, large scale currents and eddies.
The chemical and biological phenomena to be studied include: fluxes of nutrients and organic matter, chemical composition of phytoplankton and nutrient regeneration, variability of the photosynthesis- remineralization system, primary production, and production losses from the shelf due to mesoscale features.
MORENA constitutes a demonstration of a synergistic use of models, in situ measurements, and remote sensing observations, which is expected to contribute strongly to the development of operational prediction schemes for the marine environment in the near future and to the effective management of the marine resources of the eastern boundary waters, like those off continental Portugal and Galicia (NW Spain).
Call for proposalData not available
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
BT22 1PF Portaferry
DD1 4HN Dundee
LL59 5EY Gwynedd
SO14 3ZH Southampton