Did biological activity in the Ionian Sea change after the Eastern Mediterranean Transient? Results from the analysis of remote sensing observations

Fabrizio D'Ortenzio, Maria Ragni, Salvatore Marullo, Maurizio Ribera d'Alcalà

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The possible impact of the Eastern Mediterranean Transient (EMT) on the autotrophic biomass distribution has been investigated through a detailed analysis of remote sensing observations on a basin scale. Since the EMT effect was circumscribed in time, satellite data from Coastal Zone Color Scanner (CZCS) and Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (Sea WiFS), relative to the pre- and post-EMT period, respectively, were utilized for the study. The results of the analysis demonstrate that the changes in the circulation of the castern Mediterranean Sea did not affect the general patterns of biomass distribution in the basin. The chlorophyll a fields at the surface were substantially similar in the CZCS and Sea WiFS periods, showing similar spatial patterns and only a slight difference in the timing of the main events. On the other hand, in the Sea WiFS period a recurrent and large patch of chlorophyll a was detectable in the northwestern Ionian Sea. The analysis of existing data supports the possibility that this new structure is the result of changes related to the EMT, though the observed subregional enhancement of biomass occurred only in an area where concurrent factors such as doming and convection played a synergistic role with the EMT-induced changes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)-
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 2003
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Oceanography
  • Forestry
  • Ecology
  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology

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