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Abstract

The surface colour, temperature and wind fields of the Mediterranean Sea, as derived from satellite-based observations, highlight the main environmental processes occurring in the basin. Scales and trends of these processes trace the space-time characteristics of the main geographical provinces into which the basin can be subdivided. A statistical assessment of environmental features appearing in the Mediterranean data set was done using long-term means of chlorophyll-like pigment concentration, sea surface temperature, and wind speed - derived from the historical archives of the CZCS (78-86), AVHRR (82-91), GEOSTAT (86-89), ERS-1 (92-95) and TOPEX (93-97 - and bathymetry. The autocorrelation function of the various fields and their classification identify typical parameter scales within distinct sub-basins, differentiating in particular between areas under the direct influence of coastal interactions; regions of enhanced patterns, linked to the prevailing winds (i.e. Mistral, Bora, Etesians) and/or currents (i.e. Atlantic jet); open sea areas, characterised by quasi-latitudinal frontal structures (in the western basin) or by a permanent mesoscale eddy field (in the eastern basin).

Additional information

Authors: ZAMPIERIN S, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Ispra (IT);BARALE V, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Ispra (IT);RUOL P, Dipartimento di Ingegneria Idraulica, Marittima, Ambientale e Geotecnica, Universita di Padova (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 20157 IT (2002), pp.70. Euro: Free of charge
Availability: Available from European Commission, JRC Knowledge Management Unit, Ispra (IT) Tel: +39 033278 9843 or +39 033278 9864 Fax: +39 033278 9623 E-mail: jrc-publications-office@ec.europa.eu
Record Number: 200214621 / Last updated on: 2002-04-19
Category: PUBLICATION
Original language: it
Available languages: it