Water intrusions and particle signatures in the Black Sea: A Biogeochemical-Argo float investigation


Continuous observations during 3 years with a vertical resolution of 1 dbar from two Bio-Argo floats in the Black Sea that were equipped with oxygen optodes, chlorophyll fluorometers, and backscattering sensors are analyzed. The particle backscattering coefficient, b bp provides a proxy for the concentration of suspended particles. The observations clearly identify thermal and b bp intrusions down to ~700–800 m in the Bosporus inflow area. In this area, b bp is more than five times larger than elsewhere, which could indicate bacterial abundance and possible biological involvement in the precipitation of Mn-containing particles. The b bp anomalies become much shallower than the temperature anomalies with increasing distance to the east of the strait. Their maxima are located between the onset of the suboxic zone and the upper part of the anoxic layer. Unlike well-known intrusions that are caused by inflow, open ocean intrusions are shallower and often characterized by multiple layers of backscatter maxima with thicknesses of only 15–20 m. The ratio between backscattering coefficients measured at two wavelengths, which gives a proxy for particle size, shows that the relative amount of larger size particles in the anoxic layer increases with depth. The particle concentrations and their size distribution display different vertical variability, which indicates the complex transformation of biological matter. The lower concentration of particles and lower chlorophyll-a during the extremely warm 2016 reveals an overall positive correlation between the two properties. The trends in the particle backscattering coefficient in the suboxic zone during 2013–2016 could indirectly reveal a biogeochemical response to temperature changes.
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