Oxygen dynamics in the Black Sea as seen by Argo profiling floats.

Antje.Boetius [ at ] awi.de


Observations collected in the Black Sea from May 2010 until December 2011 from two Argo floats with oxygen sensors demonstrated the potential of the applied technique to deliver high-quality oxygen data in this oxic/anoxic environment where the oxygen concentration varies from the level of saturation to zero. It was demonstrated that the dynamics of the oxic-anoxic interface was dominated by vigorous mesoscale processes displacing locally anoxic waters up to about 70 m below the sea surface. Alternatively, oxygenation (ventilation) in the coastal zone penetrated down to about 150–200 m. The range of mesoscale variability, which appeared to reach half of the range of climatic trend during the last 50 years, helped to objectively assess the validity of interpretation of historical data. It was proved that the shift of the suboxic zone from isopycnal depth σt = 16.5 to σt = 15.5 during 1960–2010, interrupted by its deepening between 1990 and 2000, was greater than the possible error limit caused by insufficient sampling of mesoscale variability. Furthermore, profiling floats shed a new light into the seasonal variability of the subsurface oxygen maximum. It was also demonstrated that the assumption of isopycnal alignment of oxygen was coarsely applicable to the suboxic layer in both the coastal and interior part of the Black Sea where the isopycnal mixing revealed large temporal and spatial variability. Therefore, deeper understanding of the dynamics of suboxic zone necessitated continuous basin-wide sampling.

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DOI 10.1002/grl.50606

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Stanev, E. V. , Hee Young, Y. , Grayek, S. and Boetius, A. (2013): Oxygen dynamics in the Black Sea as seen by Argo profiling floats. , Geophysical Research Letters, 40 , pp. 3085-3090 . doi: 10.1002/grl.50606

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