Istituto di Scienze Marine     
Solidoro C., Bastianini M., Bandelj V., Codermatz R., Cossarini G., Canu D. M., Ravagnan E., Salon S., Trevisani S. Current state, scales of variability, and trends of biogeochemical properties in the northern Adriatic Sea. In: Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans, vol. 114 article n. C07S91. Amer Geophysical Union, 2009.
This paper illustrates the main results of a statistical analysis performed on a data set obtained by integrating experimental observations collected during many oceanographic research projects on the northern Adriatic Sea (NAS). The observations cover the last 20 years and provide a robust base for the assessment of the current state and scales of variability for temperature, salinity, nutrients, dissolved oxygen, and chlorophyll. The results confirmed a clear seasonal cycle and marked spatial gradients for most parameters in all seasons. The largest proportion of the river Po input flows south along the coast, but significant eastward freshwater fluxes are also present in all seasons, more markedly in winter. The coastal belt south of the Lagoon of Venice is the most eutrophic area, mainly because of river inputs, while an oligotrophic condition prevails along the eastern part of the basin. Small-scale structures, including eddies and jets, are permanent features of the system. In order to test the existence of significant trends of variation in the physical and biogeochemical parameters, the data set has been enlarged by including observations from 1976. Analyses of trends over 30 years show an increase in salinity, which might be a consequence of both reduced outflows from rivers and a more sustained inflow of water along eastern coast, and a clear reduction in concentrations of phosphate and ammonia in coastal areas, probably due to new regulations regarding the control of nutrient loads and possibly suggesting the occurrence of cultural oligotrophication. No decrease is instead observed for concentration of nitrate.
DOI: 10.1029/2008JC004838
Subject general-circulation

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