The continuing effect of the Eastern Mediterranean Transient event on the distribution of physical and chemical parameters in the Easternmost Levantine basin was documented from 2002 to 2010 in the open sea and at the continental slope. By mid-2002, the deep waters had already changed, exhibiting a mid-depth layer, the old Adriatic Deep Water (ADWo), with minimum salinity, temperature (MinSal/T), minimum dissolved oxygen (MinOx) and maximum nutrient (MaxNut) concentrations above the younger Cretan Sea Ouflow water. MinSal/T values at the ADWo increased from 2002 to 2010, the depth range narrowed, shallowed and was eroded. The maximum silicic acid layer (>9μmolkg-1) was positioned with the MinSal/T, while the MinOx and maximum nitrate and phosphate layers (<175, >5.5 and >0.2μmolkg-1, respectively) were shallower (by up to 500m) due to chemical oxidation of organic matter at the upper layers. Nutrient concentrations at the base of the nutricline increased with time, concurrently with a widening and shallowing of the deep chlorophyll-a maximum layer and increase in concentration. Since 2008 at the slope and 2010 at the open sea, chlorophyll-a concentrations increased also at and near the surface, indicating a possible change in the phytoplankton community. A gradual increase in salinity at the upper layers was detected since 2006.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors thank the captain and crew of the R/V Shikmona and the research assistants at the Marine Chemistry, Physical Oceanography and Data Center departments at IOLR for their dedicated work at sea and in the laboratory. We acknowledge the comments of two anonymous reviewers that helped improve the manuscript. The research was funded by the Israel Ministry of National Infrastructures and by the SESAME Project, EC Contract No. GOCE-036949 in the framework of the European Commission's Sixth Framework Program under the priority ‘Sustainable Development, Global Change, and Ecosystems’.
- Dissolved oxygen
- Eastern mediterranean transient
- Levantine basin
- Physical parameters
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Aquatic Science