High Productivity on a Coastal Bank: Physical and Biological Interactions

Stellwagen Bank supports a multiplicity of life forms, from plankton to whales. This project seeks to mathematically model the interplay among physical and biological processes that support the productivity of the Bankís ecosystem. Investigators theorize that whales, as major consumers of biomass, contribute to the supply of nutrients through excretion. Researchers will use a multi-scale modeling system to determine the roles of physical features and processes (e.g., topography, internal tides/waves, recirculation eddies, coastal current) in distributing these nutrients. Results from the MIT Multidisciplinary Simulation, Estimation, and Assimilation System (MSEAS) will be combined with historical and community data, including input from local fishermen.