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Journal articles

Seasonal and inter-annual variations of dissolved oxygen in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea (DYFAMED site)

Abstract : Dissolved oxygen (O2) is a relevant tracer to interpret variations of both water mass properties in the open ocean and biological production in the surface layer of both coastal and open waters. Deep-water formation is very active in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea, where it influences intermediate and deep waters properties, nutrients replenishment and biological production. This study analyses, for the first time, the 20-year time series of monthly O2 concentrations at the DYFAMED long-term sampling site in the Ligurian Sea. Until the winters of 2005 and 2006, a thick and strong oxygen minimum layer was present between 200 and 1300 m because dense water formation was then local, episodic and of low intensity. In 2005-2006, intense and rapid deep convection injected 24 mol O2 m-2 between 350 and 2000 m from December 2005 to March 2006. Since this event, the deep layer has been mostly ventilated during winter time by newly formed deep water spreading from the Gulf of Lion 250 km to the west and by some local deep mixing in early 2010, 2012 and 2013. In the context of climate change, it is predicted that the intensity of deep convection will become weaker in the Mediterranean, which could potentially lead to hypoxia in intermediate and deep layers with substantial impact on marine ecosystems. With the exception of winters 2005 and 2006, the O2 changes in surface waters followed a seasonal trend that reflected the balance between air-sea O2 exchanges, changes in the depth of the mixed layer and phytoplankton net photosynthesis. We used the 20-year O2 time series to estimate monthly and annual net community production. The latter was 7.1 mol C m-2 yr-1, consistent with C-14 primary production determinations and sediment-trap carbon export fluxes at DYFAMED.
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Submitted on : Saturday, May 7, 2022 - 6:31:47 PM
Last modification on : Monday, May 16, 2022 - 6:52:22 AM



Laurent Coppola, Louis Legendre, Dominique Lefevre, Louis Prieur, Vincent Taillandier, et al.. Seasonal and inter-annual variations of dissolved oxygen in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea (DYFAMED site). Progress in Oceanography, 2018, 162, pp.187-201. ⟨10.1016/j.pocean.2018.03.001⟩. ⟨insu-03661732⟩



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