Numerical Modelling of the Ecosystems Dynamics in Semi-enclosed Marine Water Bodies


Dr. Pablo Mata from Chile, invited by Yongxing Shen gave us a talk on Friday, November 18

Speaker: Dr. Pablo Mata from Chile

Time: Friday, November 18, 15:00-16:00

Location: 228 conference room.

Title: Numerical Modelling of the Ecosystems Dynamics in Semi-enclosed Marine Water Bodies






Human exploitation of world marine ecosystems may causes unsustainable impacts over biodiversity, habitat destruction and waste disposal, along with climate change indirect effects. Fish consumption has duplicated since 1960 and now it’s the fastest growing food industry worldwide. Fish farming is responsible for more than 70% of this growth. Some harvested species requires large food inputs, producing a series of local impacts on marine ecosystems. In particular, salmon farming produces a series of environmental impacts over marine ecosystems where the cages are located. This presentation focuses on describing how numerical models can be used to assess the load carrying capacity (number of salmon cages per unit area) of marine water bodies where aquaculture activities are placed. To this end, an appropriate finite element model is used to simulate the hydrodynamic part of the ecosystem dynamics (currents, salinity content and heat transport) when subjected to environmental forces (tides, wind, solar radiation, etc.). The output of the physical model is then used to feed a bio-geochemical model describing the relations among salinity content, the temperature, nutrient concentration, and the phytoplankton and zooplankton concentrations. The effects of aquaculture are introduced by means of extra input of dissolved organic matter, Phosphorous and Nitrogen into the aquatic environment. Some preliminary results describing the hydrodynamics of a particular water body in Patagonia are presented




Dr. Pablo Mata earned his Bachelor's degree in engineering from University of Chile (Santiago, Chile) in 1999 and the Master and PhD degrees in structural analysis from the Technical University of Catalonia (Barcelona, Spain) in 2008. In 2009 he joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering of Stanford University (USA) as a postdoctoral scholar. Since 2012 he holds a position as Senior Researcher at the Center for Research in Ecosystems of Patagonia located in the southern part of Chile. His primary research interests focus on three topics: 1) the formulation of new computational tools for simulating the long term dynamics of glaciers and ice sheets, 2) the theory and numerics of dynamical systems undergoing irreversible processes and, 3) the formulation and implementation of new coupled physical-biological models to understand the dynamics of semi-enclosed marine ecosystems.


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