|The European marginal and enclosed seas: an overview|
|Barale, V. (2008). The European marginal and enclosed seas: an overview, in: Barale, V. et al. (Ed.) (2008). Remote sensing of the European seas. pp. 3-22|
|In: Barale, V.; Gade, M. (Ed.) (2008). Remote sensing of the European seas. Springer Science+Business Media: Heidelberg. ISBN 978-1-4020-6771-6. XXII, 514 pp., more|
The European continent is confined by the North Atlantic Ocean, to the west and north-west, and by a score of marginal and enclosed seas, both to the north and to the south. The North Sea and other near-coastal, open water bodies – i.e. the Norwegian Sea, the Barents Sea and the White Sea, to the north; the Irish Sea, the Celtic Sea and the English Channel, as well as the Bay of Biscay and the Gulf of Cadiz, to the west – are considered marginal basins of the Atlantic, where oceanic influences dominate. Among the major enclosed seas, the Mediterranean Sea behaves like a concentration basin, while the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea are essentially dilution basins. These seas exhibit a wide spectrum of environmental traits, ranging from sub-polar to sub-tropical climatic zones, from shallow continental shelves to deep abyssal plains, from pristine marine reserves to regions impacted by countless economic and recreational activities. Understanding the inner workings of these seas – aiming to reconcile the conflicting needs of protecting their ecological balance and exploiting their natural resources – requires adequate observation systems, integrating both in situ and remote sensing techniques.