Amodel is presented that simulates the formation of marine aggregates from particles of different origin inside amodel of pelagic biological processes. Experiments are carried out with parameterizations appropriate for different types of aggregates, using different kinds of physical forcing, and compared to observations of dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN), particulate organic nitrogen (PON), marinesnow concentration, and sedimentation. The occurrence of large, macroscopically visible aggregates (marinesnow) can best be simulated with parameterizations that have been derived from in situ observations of marinesnow, but not with aparameterization sufficient for dense particles. The parameterization strongly determines the amount and timing of deep export, as well as the post-bloom development of the food web in the upper layers. Detritus in aggregates plays a role mainly during times when zooplankton are abundant, as e.g. in the western Arabian Sea during Southwest Monsoon. Then the large aggregates as fast sinking vehicles may remove detritus quickly from shallow and mid-water depth, preventing the accumulation of nutrients that are produced via detritus decomposition. In this region, detritus contributes strongly to deep sedimentation. The nitrogenbudget at this location with regard to the observations cannot be closed: depending on model type, either the model simulates too high sedimentation, or too high DIN. Possible causes for this mismatch include undercollection by sediment traps, inaccurate representation of physical processes in the model and the neglect of biological processes, such as production of dissolved organic matter or denitrification
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