Skip to content

On the nature of short-period oscillations of the main Black Sea pycnocline, submesoscale eddies, and response of the marine environment to the catastrophic shower of 2012

January 10, 2014

Field studies performed at the Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of Sciences (SIO RAS), Black Sea hydrophysical polygon in 2012 are illustrated. The variations in the vertical distribution of the hydrophysical characteristics (water temperature, salinity, and density, as well as current velocity) in the upper 200-m layer of the Black Sea above the continental slope in the cold season, obtained using an Aqualog autonomous profiler on a moored buoy station, have been analyzed. It has been established that the position of the permanent pycno-halocline and the hydrosulphuric zone upper boundary intensively oscillate with a characteristic period of 5–10 days. These oscillations cause short-period variations in the thickness of the oxigenated layer by 20–40 m, which reaches one-third of the total thickness of the layer. Measurements performed with autonomous stations (bottom ADCP, thermochain) at the experimental subsatellite polygon in the Gelendzhik coastal zone, as well as meteorological, ship, and satellite data obtained during the catastrophic rains and flooding on July 6–7, 2012, and afterward, have been simultaneously analyzed. It has been established that a catastrophic flow of turbid fresh water into the sea caused the formation of a belt of freshened (by 1.0–2.7 psu) less dense water with a high suspension concentration on the shelf and the upper continental slope. This water formed a quasi-geostrophic northwestward along-shore current, the velocity of which reached 40–50 cm/s. Therefore, the freshened and turbid water mostly escaped from the Gelendzhik region northwestward for two days after the flood, and the remaining water became free of suspension owing to its settlement during approximately the same period. The fields of the current velocity and suspension concentration in a submesoscale cyclonic eddy, identified on the satellite image, were measured at the hydrophysical polygon. It has been established that a high (when compared to the background values) suspension concentration in the surface-water layer in an eddy is related to intense upwelling at the eddy center and the rising of suspension (apparently phytoplankton) from the thermocline layer, where the suspension concentration is maximal.

Zatsepin A G, Ostrovskii A G, Kremenetskiy V V, Piotukh V B, 2013, On the nature of short-period oscillations of the main Black Sea pycnocline, submesoscale eddies, and response of the marine environment to the catastrophic shower of 2012, Izvestiya, Atmospheric and Oceanic Physics, 49,  6 , 659-673, doi:10.1134/S0001433813060145. Article.

Advertisements

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: