Nutrient Transport, Cycles, and Fate in Southern Brazil (Southwestern Atlantic Ocean Margin)

  • Luis F. Niencheski


The southwestern Atlantic Ocean margin along the coasts of southern Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina includes a wide continental shelf which varies in width from about 150 km off southern Brazil to over 500 km along the Patagonian coast of Argentina. The region between 28° and 40° is one of the most biologically productive areas of the World Ocean, and this productivity, perhaps driven mostly by ocean margin processes, extends out across the South Atlantic. Because of this high production, this ocean margin is the largest CO2 sink in the South Atlantic and is significant on a global scale. Complex interactions of physical, chemical, and biological processes active in this ocean margin control the transport pathways and production in time and space. An appropriate understanding of this system obviously requires interdisciplinary study and information synthesis. This chapter assesses the state of knowledge on ocean margin processes of the southwestern Atlantic Ocean, presents a summary of the present understanding of physical and biogeochemical processes operating in this region and how they are linked, and identifies major areas of uncertainty. This paper provides background information about nutrients in the southwestern Atlantic Ocean margin. Initially we focus on a synthesis of past work and then consider more recent research on nutrients. The chapter emphasizes recent research which considers new nutrient sources to the ocean margin. At the end, the major scientific uncertainties are pointed out to provide a framework for discussion regarding future international, interdisciplinary research in the region.


Nutrient transport Southwestern Atlantic Nutrient sources Multidiscipline syntheses 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luis F. Niencheski
    • 1
  1. 1.Instituto de Oceanografia, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande (FURG)Rio GrandeBrazil

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