Inter-annual productivity variability in the North Aegean Sea

Influence of thermohaline circulation during the Eastern Mediterranean Transient

K. P. Tsiaras, Vassiliki H Kourafalou, D. E. Raitsos, G. Triantafyllou, G. Petihakis, G. Korres

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The North Aegean inter-annual productivity variability was investigated, by means of a coupled hydrodynamic/biogeochemical model simulation, over a multi-year (1985-2001) period covering the Eastern Mediterranean Transient (EMT). The EMT was a historically significant period (1987-1994), characterized by the massive formation of dense waters in the Aegean and their subsequent southward spreading to the Eastern Mediterranean. Our findings suggest that during the dense water formation events, deep nutrient rich water is exported to the South, affecting the N. Aegean nutrient pool. We show that the open sea productivity variability, driven by the deep nutrient pool entrainment to the euphotic zone, is related to both vertical mixing and nutrient fluxes, induced by thermohaline circulation variability. A negative correlation appears between the two processes, as stronger vertical mixing triggers a higher nutrient export. Process oriented experiments adopting maximum and minimum nutrient fluxes to the Southern Aegean revealed a significant impact on the nutrient pool, counterbalancing the effect of different vertical mixing on primary production. The model results presented good correlation with available satellite SST and Chl-a data. The impact of precipitation and BSW inflow variability on the Aegean salinity and dense water formation was investigated, showing a significant contribution by both preconditioning factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)72-81
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Marine Systems
Volume96-97
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2012

Fingerprint

Aegean Sea
thermohaline circulation
productivity
nutrient
nutrients
dense water
vertical mixing
water
euphotic zone
sea
entrainment
hydrodynamics
primary production
simulation models
inflow
sea surface temperature
salinity
simulation

Keywords

  • Aegean Sea
  • Dense water formation
  • Eastern Mediterranean Transient
  • Modelling
  • Primary production
  • Thermohaline circulation
  • Variability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Oceanography
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Inter-annual productivity variability in the North Aegean Sea : Influence of thermohaline circulation during the Eastern Mediterranean Transient. / Tsiaras, K. P.; Kourafalou, Vassiliki H; Raitsos, D. E.; Triantafyllou, G.; Petihakis, G.; Korres, G.

In: Journal of Marine Systems, Vol. 96-97, 08.2012, p. 72-81.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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