Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Estimating time-dependent connectivity in marine systems

February 4, 2016

Hydrodynamic connectivity describes the sources and destinations of water parcels within a domain over a given time. When combined with biological models, it can be a powerful concept to explain the patterns of constituent dispersal within marine ecosystems. However, providing connectivity metrics for a given domain is a three-dimensional problem: two dimensions in space to define the sources and destinations and a time dimension to evaluate connectivity at varying temporal scales. If the time scale of interest is not predefined, then a general approach is required to describe connectivity over different time scales. For this purpose, we have introduced the concept of a “retention clock” that highlights the change in connectivity through time. Using the example of connectivity between protected areas within Barnegat Bay, New Jersey, we show that a retention clock matrix is an informative tool for multitemporal analysis of connectivity.

Publication Year 2016
Title Estimating time-dependent connectivity in marine systems
DOI 10.1002/2015GL066888
Authors Zafer Defne, Neil K. Ganju, Alfredo Aretxabaleta
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Geophysical Research Letters
Index ID 70176566
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center