Modelling the spatial and temporal variability of the Cretan Sea ecosystem
G. Petihakis, G. Triantafyllou, A. J. Icarus, I. Hoteit, and K. Dounas
Journal of Marine Systems, 36, 173-196, 2002
The ecosystem function of the oligotrophic Cretan Sea is explored through the development and application of a 3D ecological model. The simulation system comprises of two on-line coupled submodels: the 3D Princeton Ocean Model (POM) and the 1D European Regional Seas Ecosystem Model (ERSEM) adapted to the Cretan Sea. For the tuning and initialisation of the ecosystem parameters, the 1D version of the biogeochemical model is used. After a model spin up period of 10 years to reach a quasi-steady state, the results from an annual simulation are presented. A cost function is used as validation method for the comparison of model results with field data. The estimated annual primary and bacteria production are found to be in the range of the reported values. Simulation results are in good agreement with in situ data illustrating the role of the physical processes in determining the evolution and variability of the ecosystem.