About this Research Topic
Coastal ocean, defined as the waters from the coast to shelf break, occupies only 7 percent of total sea surface area in the world ocean, but supports much higher biological production and fishery yield than the oligotrophic open ocean. In addition to high production, the coastal ocean is under strong anthropogenic pressure, extreme weather events (EWEs, typhoons and storms) and receives a significant amount of terrigenous materials and nutrients from river inputs and EWEs. Furthermore, the continental slope region serves as boundary between the coastal and open oceans. Physical processes across scales (e.g. instability waves, wind driven coastal upwelling or downwelling and the topographic induced subsurface water intrusion) are crucial to regulate the spatial variation of biogeochemistry, biological productivity and biodiversity and, in turn, influence the structure and dynamics of marine food webs and the associated societal impacts.
This Research Topic aims to stimulate interdisciplinary research on physical, chemical and biological oceanography in the coastal oceans. Physical forcing, such as wind waves, periodic tidal currents over the shelf region could cause sediment re-suspension and strengthen turbulent mixing throughout the water column. Instability waves generated in the coastal frontal region or near the continental shelf break might evolve to submesoscale vortices, which could encroach one water mass on another and then temporarily alter the hydrography and even the ecosystem. The wind induced coastal upwelling or downwelling and the topographic induced subsurface water intrusion onto the continental shelf cause the vertical movement of water mass and, importantly, nutrients. These physical processes are crucial to regulate the spatial variation of biogeochemistry, biological productivity and biodiversity. For example, the relative strength of microbial loop and grazing foodchain is critically influenced by nutrient regimes under different physical forcings. In addition, bacteria, phytoplankton, and zooplankton production and species diversity and composition are also altered. Conversely, biological processes and biodiversity could also influence the physical property such as vertical light attenuation, and chemical properties such as vertical nutrient distribution of marine environments.
The purpose of this Research Topic is to depict the oceanographic processes integrating the interactions of physical, chemical, and biological processes and biodiversity across the nearshore, continental shelf, and shelf break regions. Doubtless, it is important to link biological processes and physical-chemical environments to more accurately predict the nutrient dynamics and foodweb structure, which have critical impacts on carbon fluxes and energy flows in marine systems and to forecast the future under increasing anthropogenic and EWEs perturbations. Better understanding of complex physical and biogeochemical processes in the coastal ocean, consequently, provides crucial variables for ecological models. This Research Topic invites submission of research concerning physical, chemical, and biological processes from the coast to shelf break. Research across disciplines and comparative studies across systems are particularly encouraged.
Keywords: Coastal Ocean, Physical process, Chemical process, Biological process, Biodiversity
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.