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CAFE Net Primary Production (NPP) calculations

The following text provides a brief description of the Carbon, Absorption, and Fluorescence Euphotic-resolving (CAFE) NPP calculations. Select one of the other tabs above to find similar information regarding the other Net Primary Production algorithms.

The CAFE model was first described by Silsbe et al. (2016) The model incorporates inherent optical properties derived from ocean color measurements into a mechanistic model of phytoplankton net primary production (NPP). The CAFE model calculates NPP as the product of energy absorption (Q_par), and the efficiency (phi_u) by which absorbed energy is converted into carbon biomass (c_phyto).

The appropriate way to treat light penetration through the euphotic zone is to attenuate light in the model spectrally through the water column and to integrate the effects over the course of the day. The CAFE model analyzes 31 separate wavelengths, from 400 to 700 nm, in 10 nm increments. The depth profile divides the euphotic depth into 100 equal increments, while the time profile divides the day into 50 equal steps. For a 12-hour day, the time step is just under 15 minutes.

Background on the CAFE model


Variables needed

NPP calculations for the CAFE model require the following input data fields:

  • chl
  • par
  • sst
  • adg
  • aph
  • bbp
  • bbp_s
  • mld

These ancillary data can be accessed here.

For details on CAFE implementation, please see the code.

Last modified: 18 September 2019
by:  Robert O'Malley

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