Gladden Spit is a reef promontory off the coast of Belize; it
serves as a spawning aggregation site for some 17 species of reef
fishes. This reef and other spawing aggregation sites along the
Meso-American Barrier Reef System all have have similar shapes with
sharp horizontal curvatures and steep vertical convex slopes. Thus the
flow-topography interaction near Gladden Spit Reef is studies using
observations and high-resolution numerical ocean model simulations. The
spawning aggregation location was fouind to be the most turbulent area
along the reef, where tides and flow variations due to eddies are
amplified and excite internal waves and intense mixing. Therefor, model
simulations and observations suggest that the spawning site at the tip
of the reef provides initial strong dispersion of eggs to reduce
predation, and then the combined influence of the along-isobath flow and
the westward wind will transport the eggs and larvae downstream of
Gladden Spit toward a less turblent region, which may contribute to
enhanced larval survival.
Acknowledgment: The research resulted from collaboration with Texas A&M University.
Reference: Ezer, Heyman, Houser & Kjerfve, Ocean Dynamics, In Press, 2011.
Dr. Ezer received a B.Sc. in Physics and Mathematics and a M.Sc. in Atmospheric Sciences from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. After a few years as a scientist at the Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research Institute in Haifa, he moved in 1985 to the US and obtained a Ph.D. in Physical Oceanography in 1989 from Florida State University. Dr. Ezer spent 18 years as a Research Scientist and Scholar at the Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences Program of Princeton University before joining Old Dominion University in 2007, where is now a Professor of Ocean, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at CCPO and an affiliated faculty with VMASC. Dr. Ezer's research interests include various aspects of numerical ocean modeling, ranging in scales from small-scale turbulence to basin-scale, and long-term climate modeling.
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