Hypoxia events frequently occurred in the bottom layer of the northern Adriatic Sea (NAd) from mid-summer to mid-autumn, when the water column is highly stratified, with highly variable spatial extent and duration. To determine the mechanisms of changes in hypoxia frequency and their relation to environmental conditions, 40 yr-long time series of dissolved oxygen and of parameters that describe freshwater influence, stratification processes, and circulation patterns were analysed. It was shown that seasonal hypoxic events in the open water areas coincidedwith the formation of cyclonic or anticyclonic circulation cells,whose stabilitywas estimated by the appearance of the Istrian Coastal Counter Current (ICCC). The oxygenation of bottomwaters during the period August–November of the last two decades has increased,whereas a decreasing trendwas observed in surfacewaters. The frequency of hypoxic events at a larger scale in the NAd decreased since 1992, concurrentlywith reduced ICCC occurrences. However, the frequency of events in the western area, which is under a direct influence of Po River discharges, did not change significantly, although their intensity recentlywere lower than during the 1970s and 1980s.

Mechanisms of hypoxia frequency changes in the northern Adriatic Sea during the period 1972-2012

Giani M
2015

Abstract

Hypoxia events frequently occurred in the bottom layer of the northern Adriatic Sea (NAd) from mid-summer to mid-autumn, when the water column is highly stratified, with highly variable spatial extent and duration. To determine the mechanisms of changes in hypoxia frequency and their relation to environmental conditions, 40 yr-long time series of dissolved oxygen and of parameters that describe freshwater influence, stratification processes, and circulation patterns were analysed. It was shown that seasonal hypoxic events in the open water areas coincidedwith the formation of cyclonic or anticyclonic circulation cells,whose stabilitywas estimated by the appearance of the Istrian Coastal Counter Current (ICCC). The oxygenation of bottomwaters during the period August–November of the last two decades has increased,whereas a decreasing trendwas observed in surfacewaters. The frequency of hypoxic events at a larger scale in the NAd decreased since 1992, concurrentlywith reduced ICCC occurrences. However, the frequency of events in the western area, which is under a direct influence of Po River discharges, did not change significantly, although their intensity recentlywere lower than during the 1970s and 1980s.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.14083/2368
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