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Emilio Mayorga

Senior Oceanographer






B.S. Environmental Engineering Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1992

Ph.D. Chemical Oceanography, University of Washington, 2004


Sampling Quantitative Internal-wave Distributions — SQUID

Our goals are to understand the generation, propagation, and dissipation mechanisms for oceanic internal gravity waves to enable seamless, skillful modeling & forecasts of these internal waves between the deep ocean and the shore.

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26 Feb 2024

The SQUID team will provide a globally distributed observing program for shear, energy flux, and mixing by internal waves. We will use profiling floats — measuring temperature, salinity, velocity, and turbulence — that will yield new insights into internal wave regimes and parameterizations, and that will provide direct and derived data products tailored for use by modeling groups for comparison and validation. Data Sharing @ UW/Girton

GeoHackWeek: Workshop on Geospatial Data Science

APL-UW researchers teamed with University and industry partners to explore open source geospatial software development during a workshop held 14–18 November.

14 Nov 2016

BiGCZ: Cyberinfrastructure for Bio and Geoscience processes in the Critical Zone

The goal of this project is to co-develop with the "Critical Zone" science community a high-performance web-based integration and visualization environment for joint analysis of cross-scale Bio and Geoscience processes in the Critical Zone (BiGCZ), spanning experimental and observational designs.

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1 Dec 2013

The Critical Zone (CZ) is Earth's permeable near-surface layer -- from the atmosphere at the vegetation's canopy to the lower boundary of actively circulating groundwaters. The BiGCZ system will be an open-source software system leveraging the ODM2 information model and specifically designed to address the challenges of managing, sharing, analyzing and integrating diverse data from the multiple disciplines encompassing CZ science.

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2000-present and while at APL-UW

Riverine impact on future projections of marine primary production and carbon uptake

Gao, S., J. Schwinger, J. Tjiputra, I. Bethke, J. Hartmann, E. Mayorga, and C. Heinze, "Riverine impact on future projections of marine primary production and carbon uptake," Biogeosciences, 20, 93-119, doi:10.5194/bg-20-93-2023, 2023.

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9 Jan 2023

Riverine transport of nutrients and carbon from inland waters to the coastal and finally the open ocean alters marine primary production (PP) and carbon (C) uptake regionally and globally. So far, this process has not been fully represented and evaluated in the state-of-the-art Earth system models. Here we assess changes in marine PP and C uptake projected under the Representative Concentration Pathway 4.5 climate scenario using the Norwegian Earth system model, with four riverine transport configurations for nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, silicon, and iron), carbon, and total alkalinity: deactivated, fixed at a recent-past level, coupled to simulated freshwater runoff, and following four plausible future scenarios. The inclusion of riverine nutrients and carbon at the 1970 level improves the simulated contemporary spatial distribution of annual mean PP and air–sea CO2 fluxes relative to observations, especially on the continental margins (5.4% reduction in root mean square error (RMSE) for PP) and in the North Atlantic region (7.4% reduction in RMSE for C uptake). While the riverine nutrients and C input is kept constant, its impact on projected PP and C uptake is expressed differently in the future period from the historical period. Riverine nutrient inputs lessen nutrient limitation under future warmer conditions as stratification increases and thus lessen the projected decline in PP by up to 0.66 ± 0.02 Pg C yr-1 (29.5%) globally, when comparing the 1950–1999 with the 2050–2099 period. The riverine impact on projected C uptake depends on the balance between the net effect of riverine-nutrient-induced C uptake and riverine-C-induced CO2 outgassing. In the two idealized riverine configurations the riverine inputs result in a weak net C sink of 0.03–0.04 ± 0.01 Pg C yr-1, while in the more plausible riverine configurations the riverine inputs cause a net C source of 0.11 ± 0.03 Pg C yr-1. It implies that the effect of increased riverine C may be larger than the effect of nutrient inputs in the future on the projections of ocean C uptake, while in the historical period increased nutrient inputs are considered the largest driver. The results are subject to model limitations related to resolution and process representations that potentially cause underestimation of impacts. High-resolution global or regional models with an adequate representation of physical and biogeochemical shelf processes should be used to assess the impact of future riverine scenarios more accurately.

Continental-scale patterns of extracellular enzyme activity in the subsoil: An overlooked reservoir of microbial activity

Dove, N.C., and 17 others including E. Mayorga, "Continental-scale patterns of extracellular enzyme activity in the subsoil: An overlooked reservoir of microbial activity," Environ. Res. Lett., 15, 104A1, doi:10.1088/1748-9326/abb0b3, 2020.

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9 Oct 2020

Chemical stabilization of microbial-derived products such as extracellular enzymes (EE) onto mineral surfaces has gained attention as a possibly important mechanism leading to the persistence of soil organic carbon (SOC). While the controls on EE activities and their stabilization in the surface soil are reasonably well-understood, how these activities change with soil depth and possibly diverge from those at the soil surface due to distinct physical, chemical, and biotic conditions remains unclear. We assessed EE activity to a depth of 1 m (10 cm increments) in 19 soil profiles across the Critical Zone Observatory Network, which represents a wide range of climates, soil orders, and vegetation types. For all EEs, activities per mass of soil correlated positively with microbial biomass (MB) and SOC, and all three of these variables decreased logarithmically with depth (p < 0.05). Across all sites, over half of the potential EE activities per mass soil consistently occurred below 20 cm for all measured EEs. Activities per unit MB or SOC were substantially higher at depth (soils below 20 cm accounted for 80% of whole-profile EE activity), suggesting an accumulation of stabilized (i.e. mineral sorbed) EEs in subsoil horizons. The pronounced enzyme stabilization in subsurface horizons was corroborated by mixed-effects models that showed a significant, positive relationship between clay concentration and MB-normalized EE activities in the subsoil. Furthermore, the negative relationships between soil C, N, and P and C-, N-, and P-acquiring EEs found in the surface soil decoupled below 20 cm, which could have also been caused by EE stabilization. This finding suggests that EEs may not reflect soil nutrient availabilities deeper in the soil profile. Taken together, our results suggest that deeper soil horizons hold a significant reservoir of EEs, and that the controls of subsoil EEs differ from their surface soil counterparts.

Better regional ocean observing through cross-national cooperation: A case study from the Northeast Pacific

Barth, J.A., and 30 others including E. Mayorga and J. Newton, "Better regional ocean observing through cross-national cooperation: A case study from the Northeast Pacific," Front. Mar. Sci., 6, doi:10.3389/fmars.2019.00093, 2019.

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28 Mar 2019

The ocean knows no political borders. Ocean processes like summertime, wind-driven upwelling stretch thousands of kilometers along the Northeast Pacific (NEP) coast. This upwelling drives marine ecosystem productivity and is modulated by weather systems and seasonal to interdecadal ocean-atmosphere variability. Major ocean currents in the NEP transport water properties like heat, fresh water, nutrients, dissolved oxygen, pCO2 and pH close to shore. The eastward North Pacific Current bifurcates offshore in the NEP, delivering open-ocean signals south into the California Current and north into the Gulf of Alaska. There are a large and growing number of NEP ocean observing elements operated by government agencies, Native American Tribes, First Nations groups, not-for-profit organizations, and private entities. Observing elements include moored and mobile platforms, shipboard repeat cruises, and land-based and estuarine stations. A wide range of multidisciplinary ocean sensors are deployed to track, for example, upwelling, downwelling, ocean productivity, harmful algal blooms, ocean acidification and hypoxia, seismic activity and tsunami wave propagation. Data delivery to shore and observatory control are done through satellite and cell phone communication, and via seafloor cables. Remote sensing from satellites and land-based coastal radar provide broader spatial coverage. Numerical circulation and biogeochemical modeling complement ocean observing efforts. Models span from the deep ocean into the inland Salish Sea and estuaries. NEP ocean observing systems are used to understand regional processes and, together with numerical models, to provide ocean forecasts. By sharing data, experiences and lessons learned, the regional ocean observatory is better than the sum of its parts.

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Acoustics Air-Sea Interaction & Remote Sensing Center for Environmental & Information Systems Center for Industrial & Medical Ultrasound Electronic & Photonic Systems Ocean Engineering Ocean Physics Polar Science Center