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Parent project: Ocean Margin Exchange II, more
Reference no: MAS3-CT97-0076
Period: June 1997 till November 2000
Thesaurus terms: Carbon cycle; Climate; Coastal upwelling; Coastal waters; Nutrients (mineral); Physical oceanography
Geographical term: ANE, Europe, Iberian Peninsula [Marine Regions]
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- Vrije Universiteit Brussel; Faculteit Wetenschappen & Bio-ingenieurswetenschappen; Vakgroep Chemie; Analytical, Environmental and Geochemistry (AMGC), more, co-ordinator
- Université de Liège; Faculté des Sciences; Département d'Astrophysique, Géophysique et Océanographie; Unité d’Océanographie Chimique, more
|The main objectives of OMEX II-II are the construction and understanding of the carbon cycle and its associated elements along the Iberian coast. This area is dominated by wind driven upwelling events during the summer and by ria inputs and downwelling during the winter. Coastal upwelling areas are among the most productive biological systems in the ocean and therefore of particular economical interest. They are also characterized by large fluxes of organic carbon, nutrients and other trace elements which may be exported to the open ocean or rapidly deposited and buried at geological time scales. They are thus playing an essential role in the marine biogeochemical cycle of many elements. The study of the physical processes should provide knowledge of the local factors (wind and topography) affecting horizontal and vertical transport in relation to the general circulation.
Special attention will be devoted to the role of filaments and eddies in the exchange of material between the coastal zone and the open ocean. Short time scale measurements of flows of carbon and nutrients through the food web will be performed during upwelling events and occasionally in the winter during periods of downwelling. On the other hand, spatial and seasonal variations of the inventories and fluxes of the carbon and associated elements will be investigated to obtain mass balances and to develop models of dynamic processes occurring in the water column.
Since a large part of the primary production in the coastal upwelling zones is rapidly deposited, a special attention will be paid to the understanding, quantification and modelling of the benthic processes related to biological activity and early diagenesis.
A better knowledge of the carbon fluxes and budgets will improve our evaluation of the role of upwelling in organic carbon production and fate in the marine system. This study may refine our understanding of the effect of coastal upwelling on the global climate control and vice versa of potential effects of global warming on the upwelling processes.