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    Atmospheric and hydrospheric sciences

    Session convener-recommended article JpGU Meeting 2013


    The role of snowmelt runoff on the ocean environment and scallop production in Funka Bay, Japan?

    Nakada S, Baba K, Sato M, Natsuike M, Ishikawa Y, Awaji T, Koyamada K, Saitoh S

    Snowmelt runoff, Scallop aquaculture, Land-sea linkage, OGCM, Nutrient flux, Submarine groundwater discharge

    Scatter plots of spat densities. For scallops and simulated volume fluxes averaged over February to April and March to April of 2006 to 2013 (see Baba et al. 2009 for the sampling and calculation procedures used to derive the spat density data). R2 denotes the squared correlation coefficient.

    This study investigated the role of snowmelt runoff on water circulation, water mass formation, and the production of cultured scallop larvae, as a part of a land-sea linkage, by analyzing hydrological data in conjunction with nutrient data and by conducting sensitivity experiments based on a coupled land-sea model of Funka Bay, Japan, a typical semi-enclosed bay. A comparison between observed data and the simulated runoff showed that, using newly compiled datasets of nutrient concentrations in rivers and groundwater, the model was sufficiently accurate to estimate the terrestrial dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) flux from the river and submarine groundwater discharges (SGDs). The average volume flux from the SGDs accounted for 26% of the riverine runoff flux. The DIN flux from SGDs accounted for a maximum of 40% of the total DIN loading to the bay before the snowmelt period. Sensitivity experiments using an ocean simulation indicated that the freshwater flux supplied by snowmelt runoff not only enhances clockwise circulations along with upwelling along the coast, but also modifies the distributions of wintertime water masses in the bay. However, the snowmelt runoff has little effect on larvae transport since wind forcing, rather than riverine buoyancy, dominates the circulation patterns. The annual density of scallop spat was highly correlated with snowmelt runoffs associated with high DIN concentrations, which suggested that riverine nutrients can increase the biomass of phytoplankton in near-shore seas and improve food availability for scallop spawners, resulting in increased egg production in March to April. Therefore, the nutrient flux from agricultural source areas through the large snowmelt runoff has an important role in larvae production. Land-sea linkages need to be identified to design sustainable and synergetic systems of aquaculture and agriculture for the integrated management of coastal regions.