Data gathered at five locations in the tropical Pacific are used to determine the kinetic constants relating nutrient concentrations and residence times to chlorophyll-a concentrations. The nutrient concentrations were found to be log-normally distributed and the residence times could be determined either from a salt balance or from measurements of advection or eddy diffusivity. The eddy diffusion coefficient was related to vertical and horizontal restrictions. Total Nitrogen (TN) or Total Phosphorus (TP) were more applicable indicators of nutrient limitation than the conventional nitrate or orthophosphate. This is indicative of the symbiotic relationship of bacterial and algal plankton in real-world systems. The techniques developed can be used to define mass emission rates of TN or TP that will result in a desired level of chlorophyll-a. They are also useful in optimizing the location and design of wastewater outfalls.


The general kinetic relationship describing enzymatic activities on substrates was first discovered early in this century (Michaelis and Menten, 1913). Each enzymatic reaction is with a specific substrate making this a well defined system whose rate can be described mathematically using a relatively simple relationship. That relationship involves two variables; the reaction rate (∼) and the substrate concentration (S), and two kinetic constants; the maximum reaction rate (lJ) and the half saturation constant (K s). The maximum reaction rate would occur when the substrate concentration is so high (mathematically infinite) that every enzyme molecule instantly finds another substrate molecule as soon as it completes its reaction with the previous substrate molecule. The half saturation constant is the value of the substrate concentration at which the reaction rate is half the maximum reaction rate. The Michaelis- Menten relationship is: (equation 1 shown in paper). Each enzymatic reaction in a living cell deals with a different substrate and has different kinetic constants.

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