ABSTRACT:

In this paper the authors (two mechanical engineers and one biologist) present the concept of a wave driven Mechanical Artificial Upwelling Device (MAUD-1) to pump deep ocean waters into surface layers and mix it there, thus increasing plankton production and leading ultimately to CO2 binding, fish stock enhancement, shore protection and water temperature control. The article describes some of the existing upwelling devices. It outlines the technical principle and gives a conservative performance simulation of MAUD-1. The biological background is presented and the conditions for promising MAUD-1 testing areas are developed. The authors which to stimulate the discussion among the research community, to increase the interest and chances for the realization of a first MAUD-1 project in the near future.

INTRODUCTION

Upwelling areas (e.g. NW-, SW-Africa, Peru and California) have long been known to be very productive regions in terms of plankton and fish production. Due to wind stress cold, nutrient rich water masses well up into the surface layers which are characterised by sufficient light to enable enhanced primary production. Consequently, phytoplankton and zooplankton biomass increase within a few days or weeks after the upwelling event and can sustain a large stock of fish, birds and larger consumers such as whales, sharks etc. Within an upwelled body of water successive phenomena can be observed (Herbland, 1973). In the first phase nutrient content is high whereas phytoplankton stock is low. Later, maximal values of phytoplankton will be recognised, nutrients are exhausted showing only low levels and the increase of zooplankton biomass accelerates. Due to nutrient limitation, primary production ceases and so does phytoplankton stock. Large amounts of phytoplankton, especially diatoms, sink out of the surface waters at that time, thus leading to a downward flux of organic carbon originally fixed as CO2 from the atmosphere.

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