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Surface Mixed Layer (Biogeochemical Feature)

Component: Biogeochemical Feature

Unique Identifier: 1352

Biogeochemical Feature Surface Mixed Layer

Definition The layer of water at the ocean surface that is mixed by wind. Water of homogeneous density is easily mixed to a depth determined by the intensity of wind shear and density of the water. Often wind mixing of the surface occurs to the pycnocline depth where density increases rapidly. The mixed layer depth is an important determinant of the extent and intensity of photosynthetic production as plankton cells are mixed through the vertical light gradient.