Friedrich, J.; Janssen, F.; Aleynik, D.; Bange, H. W.; Boltacheva, N.; Çagatay, M. N.; Dale, A. W.; Etiope, G.; Erdem, Z.; Geraga, M.; +29 more
Friedrich, J.; Janssen, F.; Aleynik, D.; Bange, H. W.; Boltacheva, N.; Çagatay, M. N.; Dale, A. W.; Etiope, G.; Erdem, Z.; Geraga, M.; Gilli, A.; Gomoiu, M. T.; Hall, P. O. J.; Hansson, D.; He, Y.; Holtappels, M.; Kirf, M. K.; Kononets, M.; Konovalov, S.; Lichtschlag, A.; Livingstone, D. M.; Marinaro, G.; Mazlumyan, S.; Naeher, S.; North, R. P.; Papatheodorou, G.; Pfannkuche, O.; Prien, R.; Rehder, G.; Schubert, C. J.; Soltwedel, T.; Sommer, S.; Stahl, H.; Stanev, E. V.; Teaca, A.; Tengberg, A.; Waldmann, C.; Wehrli, B.; Wenzhöfer, F.;
Project: EC | HYPOX (226213)
In this paper we provide an overview of new knowledge on oxygen depletion (hypoxia) and related phenomena in aquatic systems resulting from the EU-FP7 project HYPOX ("In situ monitoring of oxygen depletion in hypoxic ecosystems of coastal and open seas, and landlocked water bodies", http://www.hypox.net). In view of the anticipated oxygen loss in aquatic systems due to eutrophication and climate change, HYPOX was set up to improve capacities to monitor hypoxia as well as to understand its causes and consequences. Temporal dynamics and spatial patterns of hypoxia were analyzed in field studies in various aquatic environments, including the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea, Scottish and Scandinavian fjords, Ionian Sea lagoons and embayments, and Swiss lakes. Examples of episodic and rapid (hours) occurrences of hypoxia, as well as seasonal changes in bottom-water oxygenation in stratified systems, are discussed. Geologically driven hypoxia caused by gas seepage is demonstrated. Using novel technologies, temporal and spatial patterns of water-column oxygenation, from basin-scale seasonal patterns to meter-scale sub-micromolar oxygen distributions, were resolved. Existing multidecadal monitoring data were used to demonstrate the imprint of climate change and eutrophication on long-term oxygen distributions. Organic and inorganic proxies were used to extend investigations on past oxygen conditions to centennial and even longer timescales that cannot be resolved by monitoring. The effects of hypoxia on faunal communities and biogeochemical processes were also addressed in the project. An investigation of benthic fauna is presented as an example of hypoxia-devastated benthic communities that slowly recover upon a reduction in eutrophication in a system where naturally occurring hypoxia overlaps with anthropogenic hypoxia. Biogeochemical investigations reveal that oxygen intrusions have a strong effect on the microbially mediated redox cycling of elements. Observations and modeling studies of the sediments demonstrate the effect of seasonally changing oxygen conditions on benthic mineralization pathways and fluxes. Data quality and access are crucial in hypoxia research. Technical issues are therefore also addressed, including the availability of suitable sensor technology to resolve the gradual changes in bottom-water oxygen in marine systems that can be expected as a result of climate change. Using cabled observatories as examples, we show how the benefit of continuous oxygen monitoring can be maximized by adopting proper quality control. Finally, we discuss strategies for state-of-the-art data archiving and dissemination in compliance with global standards, and how ocean observations can contribute to global earth observation attempts.
The temporal and spatial variability of the upper ocean hydrochemistry in the Black Sea is analysed using data originating from profiling floats with oxygen sensors and carried out with a coupled three-dimensional circulation-biogeochemical model including 24 biochemical state variables. Major focus is on the dynamics of suboxic zone which is the interface separating oxygenated and anoxic waters. The scatter of oxygen data seen when plotted in density coordinates is larger than those for temperature, salinity and passive tracers. This scatter is indicative of vigorous biogeochemical reactions in the suboxic zone, which acts as a boundary layer or internal sink for oxygen. This internal sink affects the mixing patterns of oxygen compared to the ones of conservative tracers. Two different regimes of ventilation of pycnocline were clearly identified: a gyre-dominated (cyclonic) regime in winter and a coastal boundary layer (anticyclonic eddy)-dominated regime in summer. These contrasting states are characterized by very different pathways of oxygen intrusions along the isopycnals and vertical oxygen conveyor belt organized in multiple-layered cells formed in each gyre. The contribution of the three-dimensional modelling to the understanding of the Black Sea hydro-chemistry, and in particular the coast-to-open-sea mixing, is also demonstrated. Evidence is given that the formation of oxic waters and of cold intermediate waters, although triggered by the same physical process, each follow a different evolution. The difference in the depths of the temperature minimum and the oxygen maximum indicates that the variability of oxygen is not only just a response to physical forcing and changes in the surface conditions, but undergoes its own evolution.
This note describes a profiling mooring with an interdisciplinary suite of sensors taking profiles between 180 and 30 m depth. It consists of an underwater winch, moored below 180 m depth, and a profiling instrumentation platform. In its described setup it can take about 200 profiles at pre-programmed times or intervals with one set of batteries. This allows for studies over an extended period of time (e.g. two daily profiles over a time of 3 months). The Gotland Deep Environmental Sampling Station (GODESS) in the Eastern Gotland Basin of the Baltic Sea is aimed at investigations of redoxcline dynamics. The described system can be readily adapted to other research foci by changing the profiling instrumentation platform and its payload.