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Anatomy of shelf–deep sea exchanges by a mesoscale eddy in the North West Black Sea as derived from remotely sensed data

Remote Sensing of Environment
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.rse.2009.11.020
  • Remote Sensing
  • Black Sea
  • Coastal Oceanography
  • Eddy
  • Ecosystem
  • Mesoscale Processes
  • Biology


Abstract Satellite derived full resolution data on chlorophyll, water leaving radiance, sea surface temperature, as well as altimetry data are used to characterise the process of shelf–open sea exchange induced by an individual mesoscale eddy off the North West coast of the Black Sea in the summer 2005. The shelf edge front in the NW part of the Black Sea separates biologically productive and often eutrophicated shelf waters from the open sea waters. A large mesoscale eddy (diameter about 120 km) was formed away from the shelf front southwest of Crimean peninsula in the spring 2005. The eddy moved towards the shelf break and repeatedly attached itself to the shelf edge front causing its disturbance and formation of a cross-shelf jet and a Chl-a rich filament spiralling around the eddy periphery. The jet represented an important cross-shelf transport mechanism sustaining an average cross-frontal flux of shelf waters of 0.3 Sv over period of 40 days. The total transport of water in our case study was equivalent to 40% of the overall volume of water on the shelf. Formation of the filament significantly increased the length of contact between shelf and deep sea waters from 70 km at the base of filament to about 800 km along its sides, thus providing a highly efficient mixing mechanism.

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