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You are here: Home / Library / No RBINS Staff publications / Exchange processes and nitrogen cycling on the shelf and continental slope of the Black Sea basin.

Marilaure Grégoire and Geneviève Lacroix (2003)

Exchange processes and nitrogen cycling on the shelf and continental slope of the Black Sea basin.

Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 17(2):1073.

A 3D coupled biogeochemical-hydrodynamical model has been applied to the Black Sea to simulate nitrogen cycling and to estimate the exchange of biogeochemical components at the shelf break and between the continental slope and the deep sea. It was found that biological processes on the northwestern shelf are in approximate balance. Primary production is fueled by river discharge, nitrate input from the open sea at the shelf break, and in situ remineralization. The input of nitrate from the open sea is roughly equivalent to the river nitrate discharge but is half the nitrate export from the shelf toward the open sea. Also, the Black Sea shelf acts throughout the year as a nitrate source for the open sea. The amount of shelf production not remineralized in the euphotic layer is 22.2% and is exported to lower layers (20%) or offshore (2.2%). We estimate that the export of carbon from the shelf to the interior of the basin represents 2.5% of the new production of the open sea. The upper slope adjoining the northwestern shelf is the site of downwelling events responsible for the downward transport to the intermediate layer of the continental slope of biogeochemical components exported from the shelf in the upper layer. The shelf has been found to be an efficient trap for the refractory material discharged by the Danube.
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