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Publication Date




Publication Title

Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans






e2021JC017482 (1-15)


Diel vertical migration (DVM) is common in zooplankton populations worldwide. Every day, zooplankton leave the productive surface ocean and migrate to deepwater to avoid visual predators and return to the surface at night to feed. This behavior may also help retain migrating zooplankton in biological hotspots. Compared to fast and variable surface currents, deep ocean currents are sluggish, and can be more consistent. The time spent in the subsurface layer is driven by day length and the depth of the surface mixed layer. A subsurface, recirculating eddy has recently been described in Palmer Deep Canyon (PDC), a submarine canyon in a biological hotspot located adjacent to the West Antarctic Peninsula. Circulation model simulations have shown that residence times of neutrally buoyant particles increase with depth within this feature. We hypothesize that DVM into the subsurface eddy increases local retention of migrating zooplankton in this feature and that shallow mixed layers and longer days increase residence times. We demonstrate that simulated vertically migrating zooplankton can have residence times on the order of 30 days over the canyon, which is five times greater than residence times of near-surface, nonmigrating zooplankton within PDC and other adjacent coastal regions. The potential interaction of zooplankton with this subsurface feature may be important to the establishment of the biological hotspot around PDC by retaining food resources in the region. Acoustic field observations confirm the presence of vertical migrators in this region, suggesting that zooplankton retention due to the subsurface eddy is feasible.


© 2022 The Authors.

This is an open access article under the terms of the Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Creative Commons License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.

Data Availability

Article states: "Tracks from ROMS particle simulations (Dinniman et al., 2022) and mooring data (Kohut et al., 2022) are archived at BCO-DMO at"

Original Publication Citation

Hudson, K., Oliver, M. J., Kohut, J., ... Statscewich, H., Bernard, K. S., & Fraser, W. (2022). Subsurface eddy facilitates retention of simulated Diel vertical migrators in a biological hotspot. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 127(5), 1-15, Article e2021JC017482.


0000-0003-4312-5201 (Klinck)


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