Water-column Biogeochemistry and Physics in Shelf Seas

C. Davis (UoL), E. Cavan (UoS), C. Ostle (UEA), C Williams (NOC) 

Shelf seas support up to 35 % of ocean primary productivity and 90 % of world fisheries while representing less than 7 % of the surface ocean area. They are therefore important regions in terms of ocean biogeochemical cycles, climate and policy. Understanding physical, biogeochemical and biological processes and how they are coupled in both temperate and polar shelf seas is an important challenge in oceanography. An array of methods including ship-based observations, autonomous sampling, remote sensing and modelling are being employed by a number of UK research programmes and projects to help improve our understanding of shelf sea processes, focusing on cross-shelf fluxes of mass, energy and constituents, internal biogeochemical cycling of elements, benthic-pelagic exchange, air-sea fluxes, riverine inputs, and the influence of physical processes on ecosystem dynamics. The ultimate goal is to better understand the physical and biogeochemical mechanisms that sustain high rates of productivity and drive carbon export in shelf seas and how they might be affected by future climate change, thus better informing policy and marine resource management. Contributions are invited from across these disciplines, where observational, experimental and/or numerical studies are used to address the coupling of physical, biogeochemical and biological processes in the shelf sea environment.