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Modeling Onshore Flux

Onshore flux in this context refers to the transport of water (and associated heat, salt, nutrients, larvae, or other "loads") onto a reef, from oceanic waters lying offshore of the reef. The CHAMP project has developed an ecoforecast model that seeks to now-cast onshore flux indirectly, by matching characteristic patterns in physical data on the reef. The model makes use of near real-time hourly sea and air temperature and wind speed and direction, together with remote sensing data for satellite chlorophyll a concentration, Sea Surface Temperature, and ocean surface currents (WERA HF radar) where available. This ecoforecast model has shown success to date in now-casting onshore flux of high-chlorophyll water onto the reef crest of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS), related to cyclonic Frontal Eddies of the Florida Current offshore (see Gramer et al., Proc. 11th International Coral Reef Symposium, 2009). The model for FKNMS uses near real-time data from the SEAKEYS / C-MAN network of reef- and weather-monitoring stations in the Keys, and chlorophyll a relative concentration data derived from the MODIS ocean color instruments aboard the Terra and Aqua satellites, as processed by the University of South Florida's Institute for Marine Remote Sensing. Alerts are currently being generated for three reef crest sites:


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