A three-dimensional model of the California Current System (CCS) from 35 degrees N to 48 degrees N extending offshore to 134 degrees W is coupled with a four-component trophic model. The model reproduces many conspicuous characteristics in the CCS, including: complex, filamentary, mesoscale surface features seen in the pigment and temperature from satellite imagery; wind-driven coastal upwelling at appropriate spatial and temporal scales; and the close correlation between prominent features seen in pigment and those in temperature observed by satellites (Abbott and Zion, 1985). Statistical estimates of the characteristic spatial scales of variability, as calculated from the coupled, nested model, agree with those previously estimated from satellite images (for both surface temperature and pigment (Denman and Abbott, 1988, 1994)). Model estimates of the characteristic temporal scales of variability, from decorrelation times, agree with those previously estimated from satellite images. Typical model decorrelation times lie between 2 and 4 days, in agreement with calculations from earlier sequences of (Coastal Zone Color Scanner (CZCS) and advanced very high resolution radiometer (AVHRR)) satellite images (Denman and Abbott, 1988, 1994).
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