The general objective of this research project is to quantify on seasonal and interannual bases the material transfer of
biogeochemical elements (C, N, biogenic Si, and associated
metals) from the Northern shelf to the mid and Southern basins of the Adriatic Sea.
In particular a study will be made of the temporal variability of biogeochemical exchanges between river outfalls, especially from the river Po, the northwestern shelf and the deeper
basins to the south. This will necessitate a knowledge of the key biological elements (pelagic and benthic) of these
environments, particularly the processes of primary production and respiration, as they are likely to influence the
biogeochemistries of certain metals, both natural and
anthropogenic (e.g., Cu, Zn, Pb, Cd), and radioisotopes (i.e., 230Th, 234Th, 210Pb, 210Po and 137Cs) of shelf and basin
waters, transported particulate matter, and sediments.
Sediment investigations involving geochemistry, mineralogy and palaeomagnetism will be used to:
1. quantify the proportionality of sediments from various
sources in surface sediments; and
2. identify changes in the patterns of sediment
accumulation, especially on the northwestern shelf, in
order to assess passed short and long term (101 - 104y)
environmental changes and to assess future trends.
Additionally the mechanisms affecting seasonal changes of
water and sediment transport and material fluxes between
shallow and deeper water environments will be studied.
These scientific objectives will be achieved by conducting
multidisciplinary field and numerical experiments at selected key sites, three on the shelf between the river Po outfall and Ancona and one each at the mid and Southern basins.
These sites, and also one on the river Po, will be sampled at intervals from two weeks to six months. At various times, CTD will be measured and plankton, water, suspended particulate
matter, settling particulate matter and sediments will be
collected and will be subjected to various field and
laboratory analyses involving their biology, microbiology,
water and particle chemistry and mineralogy. These will be
used to quantify a biogeochemical budget for this system and to relate this to other areas studied in the Mediterranean
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
4401 EA Yerseke
DD1 4HN Dundee
SO14 3ZH Southampton