Articles | Volume 10, issue 1
Model description paper
01 Feb 2017
Model description paper |  | 01 Feb 2017

Bottom RedOx Model (BROM v.1.1): a coupled benthic–pelagic model for simulation of water and sediment biogeochemistry

Evgeniy V. Yakushev, Elizaveta A. Protsenko, Jorn Bruggeman, Philip Wallhead, Svetlana V. Pakhomova, Shamil Kh. Yakubov, Richard G. J. Bellerby, and Raoul-Marie Couture

Abstract. Interactions between seawater and benthic systems play an important role in global biogeochemical cycling. Benthic fluxes of some chemical elements (e.g., C, N, P, O, Si, Fe, Mn, S) alter the redox state and marine carbonate system (i.e., pH and carbonate saturation state), which in turn modulate the functioning of benthic and pelagic ecosystems. The redox state of the near-bottom layer in many regions can change with time, responding to the supply of organic matter, physical regime, and coastal discharge. We developed a model (BROM) to represent key biogeochemical processes in the water and sediments and to simulate changes occurring in the bottom boundary layer. BROM consists of a transport module (BROM-transport) and several biogeochemical modules that are fully compatible with the Framework for the Aquatic Biogeochemical Models, allowing independent coupling to hydrophysical models in 1-D, 2-D, or 3-D. We demonstrate that BROM is capable of simulating the seasonality in production and mineralization of organic matter as well as the mixing that leads to variations in redox conditions. BROM can be used for analyzing and interpreting data on sediment–water exchange, and for simulating the consequences of forcings such as climate change, external nutrient loading, ocean acidification, carbon storage leakage, and point-source metal pollution.

Short summary
This paper presents a new benthic–pelagic biogeochemical model (BROM) that combines a relatively simple pelagic ecosystem model with a detailed biogeochemical model of the coupled cycles of N, P, Si, C, O, S, Mn, Fe in the water column, benthic boundary layer, and sediments, with a focus on oxygen and redox state. BROM should be of interest for the study of a range of environmental applications in addition to hypoxia, such as benthic nutrient recycling, redox biogeochemistry, and eutrophication.