Skip to main content
padlock icon - secure page this page is secure

Free Content Transfer of particulate matter from the northwestern Mediterranean continental margin: Variability and controlling factors

Download Article:
(PDF 887.7 kb)
Long-term observations of monthly downward particle fluxes and hourly currents and temperature were initiated in 1993 in two canyons of the continental margin of the Gulf of Lion. The goals of this survey were to estimate its contribution to the CO2 global budget and to understand the role of forcing factors in the control of present-day particle exchange across this margin. A previous statistical analysis of the long-term time series suggested that variability in the transfer of particulate matter to the deep ocean could be the result of the effect of the meandering of the Northern Current and by dense water formation in winter rather than variations in the sources of matter. Numerical simulations have been carried out to consider these hypotheses. A model is used to examine the impact of local atmospheric forcing (wind stress, heat fluxes, precipitation–evaporation budget) on the variability of the oceanic circulation and of mass fluxes within the canyons from December to April, for five consecutive years between 1996 and 2001. Results show an east-west gradient of mass export on the shelf and a positive correlation between anomalies of dense water formation rates and interannual variability of particle fluxes. However, in the eastern part of the Gulf, the simulated mass export from the shelf is not significant, even during a winter of strong convection, when the measured particle fluxes are at maxima. Moreover, although the model suggests that the dense water formation could be the major hydrodynamic forcing factor, this process is not sufficient to completely explain the space and time variations of observed particle fluxes, especially at depth.

17 References.

No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
No Metrics

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2006

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Marine Research, one of the oldest journals in American marine science, publishes peer-reviewed research articles covering a broad array of topics in physical, biological and chemical oceanography. Articles that deal with processes, as well as those that report significant observations, are welcome. Biological studies involving coupling between ecological and physical processes are preferred over those that report systematics. The editors strive always to serve authors and readers in the academic oceanographic community by publishing papers vital to the marine research in the long and rich tradition of the Sears Foundation for Marine Research. We welcome you to the Journal of Marine Research.
  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Purchase The Sea – Volume 17
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more