1 post tagged nutrients

30th June 2012
The open ocean is mainly barren, because cold, nutrient-rich currents are confined to deep water, far beneath the reach of plankton. Seamounts—which stand up to 13,000 ft (4,000 m) above the sea bed—form a major obstruction to these currents, diverting them and pushing them upward. This brings an upwelling of nutrients into the sunlit zone, and allows phytoplankton to flourish. As these nutrient-rich currents rush over the top of the seamount, they split into two and sweep around it. This makes the water above the seamount rotate, encircling a cylindrical column of still water that extends high above the height of the seamount. This “virtual” cylinder is called a Taylor Column. Above a seamount, it forms an area of back-eddies and still water in which nutrients accumulate and plankton get trapped. This creates a zone of incredible richness and productivity above the seamount—an “oasis” in the nutrient desert of the open ocean.

The open ocean is mainly barren, because cold, nutrient-rich currents are confined to deep water, far beneath the reach of plankton. Seamounts—which stand up to 13,000 ft (4,000 m) above the sea bed—form a major obstruction to these currents, diverting them and pushing them upward. This brings an upwelling of nutrients into the sunlit zone, and allows phytoplankton to flourish. As these nutrient-rich currents rush over the top of the seamount, they split into two and sweep around it. This makes the water above the seamount rotate, encircling a cylindrical column of still water that extends high above the height of the seamount. This “virtual” cylinder is called a Taylor Column. Above a seamount, it forms an area of back-eddies and still water in which nutrients accumulate and plankton get trapped. This creates a zone of incredible richness and productivity above the seamount—an “oasis” in the nutrient desert of the open ocean.


I am Ashley, an incredibly introverted environmental enthusiast.
I'm studying to be a marine biologist.
I have a fierce love for all living things, a very broad sense of humor, and I'm likely too passionate for my own good.
Herein you'll find animals (especially creepy-crawlies), nature, science, art, some of my own photography, and occasionally a scattering of personal posts.
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I source all of my own posts unless it's my content, in which case I tag it "personal."
But that tag is littered with a bunch of other, boring things as well, so peruse with caution.

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