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CZCS data collected and processed in the frame of the OCEAN project has been used to produce a time series of geometrically corrected, remapped and composited data, on a daily, monthly, seasonal and annual basis, showing chlorophyll-like pigment concentration in the Mediterranean and the other European basins. The Mediterranean Sea composites show clear, oligotrophic waters in the pelagic region, and highly dynamic, mesotrophic, at times even eutrophic, enclosed sub-basins and near-coastal areas. The long-term mean illustrates the marked difference between the western and the eastern basin, with boundaries across the Sicily channel, Messina and Otranto Strait. Oligotrophic conditions are most persistent over the annual cycle in the eastern rather than in the western Mediterranean, where runoff along the northern coast appears to be greater. Accordingly, seasonal variations are most pronounced in the west rather than in the east, with higher concentrations in late winter and/or early spring, corresponding to periods of maximum runoff and vertical mixing processes. The basin also presents permanent features, such as the main river plumes and mesoscale gyres, which have a signature virtually for the entire year.

Additional information

Authors: BARALE V, JRC Ispra (IT);LARKIN D, DJL Software Consultancy Ltd., Jarrow (GB)
Bibliographic Reference: Paper presented: Applications of Remote Sensing over the Mediterranean Sea, Palermo (IT), April 20-22, 1995
Availability: Available from (1) as Paper EN 38951 ORA
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