A Caltech Library Service

Magnetic signature of vertically migrating aggregations in the ocean

Fu, Matt K. and Dabiri, John O. (2022) Magnetic signature of vertically migrating aggregations in the ocean. . (Unpublished)

[img] PDF - Submitted Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


The transport of heat and solutes by vertically migrating aggregations of plankton has long been explored as a potentially important source of ocean mixing. However, direct evidence of enhanced mixing due to these migrations remains challenging to obtain and inconclusive. These shortcomings are due to the limitations of current measurement techniques, i.e., velocimetry techniques, which require a priori knowledge of the precise aggregation location and typically trigger animal avoidance behavior from introducing instrumentation into the migration. Here we develop a new approach to overcome these longstanding limitations by leveraging advancements in modern magnetometry to detect the flow-induced magnetic fields that naturally arise from seawater as it moves through the Earth's geomagnetic field. We derive quantitative predictions showing that these flow-induced magnetic fields in the vicinity of migrating aggregations have a strength proportional to the integrated fluid transport due to the migration. Importantly these magnetic signatures are potentially detectable remotely at a significant distance far from the aggregation and region of moving fluid with emerging quantum-enhanced magnetometry techniques such as Nitrogen-Vacancy centers in diamond. These results provide a new, testable framework for quantifying the significance of fluid transport in the ocean due to swimming organisms that may finally resolve a scientific debate with potentially enormous implications for our understanding of ocean dynamics and climate change.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Discussion Paper)
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Fu, Matt K.0000-0003-3949-7838
Dabiri, John O.0000-0002-6722-9008
Additional Information:This work was supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) Alan T. Waterman Award.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NSF Alan T. Waterman AwardUNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20220809-232349855
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:116194
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:12 Aug 2022 00:32
Last Modified:12 Aug 2022 00:32

Repository Staff Only: item control page