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You are here: Home / Library / No RBINS Staff publications / Study of the oxygen budget of the Black Sea waters using a 3D coupled hydrodynamical-biogeochemical model.

Marilaure Grégoire and Geneviève Lacroix (2001)

Study of the oxygen budget of the Black Sea waters using a 3D coupled hydrodynamical-biogeochemical model.

Journal of Marine Systems, 31:175-202.

The ventilation of the Black Sea waters by physical and biogeochemical processes is investigated using the Geohydrodynamics and Environment Research (GHER) laboratory 3D coupled hydrodynamical–biogeochemical model. In particular, the penetration at depth of the winter mixing, the generation of unstable motions by frontal instabilities, the exchanges between the north-western shelf and the open sea along the shelf break, the primary production distribution, the generation of detritus and the resulting consumption of oxygen for their recycling are studied. The GHER 3D hydrodynamic model is used to simulate the Black Sea's general circulation and the associated synoptic and mesoscale structures. This model is coupled with a simple ecosystem model defined by a nitrogen cycle which is described by seven state variables: nitrate, ammonium, dissolved oxygen, phytoplankton, zooplankton, pelagic and benthic detritus. The model simulates the space–time variations of the biogeochemical state variables. In particular, the spatial variability of the phytoplankton biomass annual cycle, imparted by the horizontal and vertical variations of the physical and chemical properties of the water column, is clearly illustrated. For instance, on the north-western shelf, the seasonal variability of the circulation and in particular, the reversal of the surface current at the end of spring, has a strong influence on the transport of the rich nutrient Danube waters and, thus, on the repartition of the primary production. Furthermore, the results illustrate the seasonal and vertical variations of the dissolved oxygen concentration resulting (a) from its atmospheric and photosynthetic productions in the surface layer, (b) from its loss to the atmosphere in spring and summer and (c) from its consumption associated with the detritus decomposition, the ammonium oxidation during the nitrification process, as well as the oxidation of hydrogen sulfide. The simulated sea surface, phytoplankton fields are compared with satellite estimates of chlorophyll-a fields. Comparisons are made with seasonal mean pictures and snapshot images, illustrating the mesoscale motions of the main coastal current. In the central Black Sea and the Danube delta area, comparisons with available field data are also made. As a general rule, all these comparisons show a quite good qualitative agreement. In particular, at the surface, the simulated phytoplankton space–time distribution is in a good qualitative agreement with satellite observations. However, on a quantitative point of view, the model underestimates the bloom intensity especially in the Danube discharge area.
Peer Review, Impact Factor
  • DOI: 10.1016/S0924-7963(01)00052-5

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