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Content available remote Unusual Baltic inflow activity in 2002-2003 and varying deep-water properties
The unusual sequence of inflow events into the Baltic Sea that occurred in 2002 and 2003 includes the first ever important baroclinic inflow to be described (August 2002), the Major Baltic Inflow (January 2003), which gave rise to the highest oxygen levels in the Gotland Deep since the 1930s, and the baroclinic inflow (August 2003) that elevated the Gotland Basin deep water salinity to values last observed in 1977, and caused the surface salinity to rise again. From these trend changes, salt residence times were estimated at about 20 years in the deep waters and 30 years above the pycnocline. Ventilation of the remote Karlsö Deep took until 2005, two years after the inflow event responsible, at a time when the Bornholm and Eastern Gotland Basins were already returning to stagnation.
In order to describe the role of sedimentary processes for the phosphorus (P) cycle in the open Baltic Proper, P deposition and reflux were quantified for the predominately anoxic sediments of the Eastern Gotland Basin. The study is based on investigations of 53 surface sediment samples and pore water samples from 8 sediment cores. The average P deposition rate was estimated at 0.20 g š 0.18 g -2 yr-1, the fluctuation being due to variable bulk sediment deposition rates. P refluxes were estimated by applying Fick's First Law of Diffusion. A fairly good positive correlation between sedimentary P deposition and P release was obtained. P release from sediments by diffusion exceeds net P deposition by a factor of 2. This suggests that 2/3 of the deposited gross P is recycled in the sediments and released back into the water column; only 1/3 remains in the sediment permanently. A budget calculation demonstrates that the released dissolved inorganic phosphorus (DIP) accounts for the observed increase in DIP concentrations in the deep water during periods of stagnation, which is noticeable even at the surface P concentrations. Under such conditions and with the present remediation conditions it is not possible to freely manage P concentrations in the water column on short time scales.
Content available remote Evidence for a warm water inflow into the Baltic Proper in summer 2003
The exceptional warm water inflow into the Baltic Sea in summer 2002, which preceded the major Baltic inflow of January 2003, was surprisingly repeated in modified form in summer 2003. Its warm waters even replaced the renewed, cold inflow waters in the eastern Gotland Basin and commenced another warm period in its deep layers, where the previous one had lasted from 1997 to 2003. Details of the temporal and spatial behaviour of this new baroclinic inflow are presented from various measurements carried out from the Kiel Bight up to Gotland, covering the Darss Sill, the Arkona, Bornholm, Gdańsk Basins and the Słupsk Channel, focused mainly on the time period between July 2003 and July 2004. Hypothetically, the repetition of these exceptional warm inflow events could be regarded as a possible regional indicator for global climatic change.
Content available remote Warm waters of summer 2002 in the deep Baltic Proper
From October 2002 until March 2003 surprisingly warm, oxygenated waters were frequently encountered in the Baltic Sea in the area between the Bornholm and Fa*rö Deeps from the halocline down to the bottom. Owing to their ventilation effect in the stagnating deep waters, their occasional observations have partly been incorrectly attributed to the inflow events of October 2002 or January 2003. The emergence of some of these waters can be traced back to the exceptional summer weather conditions in August and September 2002 in central Europe. The warm waters played a remarkable renewal pacemaker role for the subsequent important winter inflow of January 2003. The evolution of this summer inflow is described and possible causes are discussed.
Content available remote Temporal and spatial evolution of the Baltic deep water renewal in spring 2003
In January 2003, a deep-water renewal process in the Baltic Sea commenced with an inflow of about 200 km3 of cold and well oxygenated water from the Kattegat, half of which was of salinity >17 PSU; it is considered to be the most important inflow since 1993. Related front propagation and the ventilation of anoxic waters between the western and the central Baltic were recorded by the Darss Sill measuring mast, the Arkona Basin buoy, a subsurface mooring in the Eastern Gotland Basin, and hydrographic research cruises conducted in January, February, March, May and August 2003. Already in May, the central Gotland Basin was reached by water with near-bottom oxygen concentrations among the highest ever recorded there. A comprehensive review of the observed spatial and temporal structures together with additional background data is presented. Estimates of the intensity of the present inflow are discussed.
The paper describes the hydrographic-hydrochemical development in the eastern Gotland Basin between the major saltwater inflows into the Baltic Sea in 1993 and 2003. This period is characterised by only low inflow activity. The most important hydrographic events were the effects of the very strong inflow in 1993 and the weak inflows in 1993/1994 and 1997. The 1993/1994 inflows led to deep-water renewal, a steep fall in deep-water temperatures, and increasing salinity. The effects of the inflow of very warm, saline and oxygen-rich water in autumn 1997 were observed in the deep water in 1998, resulting in temperatures rising to 7°C. The recent renewal in spring 2003 is reflected in the decreasing temperature, higher salinity and improved ventilation of the bottom water. Changes in the redox conditions exert a considerable influence on the nutrient distribution. During stagnation periods, there is enrichment of phosphate and ammonium, while nitrate is absent. Thus, around 31 žmol l-1 ammonium and 7 žmol l-1 phosphate were measured prior to the water renewal in 2003. Deep-water ventilation results in lower phosphate concentrations of around 2 žmol l-1, the nitrification of ammonium and the occurrence of nitrate. For the observation period, an estimate of nutrients stored in the deep water was done for the eastern Gotland Basin. During the recent stagnation period, there was an increase of up to 150% in the phosphate pool below the halocline, whereas the pool of inorganic nitrogen compounds decreased to 80% compared with 1992 when the previous stagnation period had ended. Under specific circumstances, these unbalanced nutrients can be made available to the upper water layers and can induce large-scale blooms of algae, especially of cyanobacteria.
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