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Contribution of marine studies to the analysis of global change

Research has been undertaken on the contribution of marine studies to the analysis of global change, in particular to assimilate data from satellite sewing and ship surveys and develop algorithms relating this data to processes occurring in the water column. Extensive data sets were collected on the vertical structure of the phytoplankton photosynthetic pigment. 1100 chlorophyll profiles were parametrized into a Gaussian distribution superimposed on a background chlorophyll concentration. Statistical analyses enabled the delineation of the studied basin into 7 biogeochemical provinces. Semianalytical algorithms were developed to comput the vertical chlorophyll profiles and total integrated pigments from satellite data. Comparison of computed and observed data showed a mean error of less than 20%. Analysis using new instrumentation has shown that phytoplankton fluorescence can be used to estimate productivity as well as the photosynthesis light parameters required for satellite models of primary production. An oceanographic survey was conducted to investigate the optical and biooptical properties of the southern Baltic. The first results illustrate the importance of yellow dissolved organic matter which efficiently competes with phytoplankton for energy. Numerical modelling was investigated. For the preparation of topographic and meteorological input data, 2 preprocessor were developed giving a specific simulation within 1 hour. In order to facilitate the access and archiving of the large data sets produced, interactive shell scripts have been developed and implemented with a data archiving system installed on a mainframe. An impaired model for the heat fluxes and the skin effect at the air sea interface has been implemented. 2 surveys have been launched on:
available turbulence models;
models and data for the ocean mixed layer dynamics.
The hydrodynamics of up welling in typical cross sections off Africa were studied using real wind data. The different time variabilites of the turbulent mixed layer and the thermal mixed layers were demonstrated. The model adequately reproduced the temperature difference between shelf water and open ocean.

Reported by

Joint Research Centre, Ispra
21020 Ispra
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