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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2019-02-13
    Description: © The Author(s), 2019. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Copernicus Publications 11(1) (2019): 129-145. doi: 10.5194/essd-11-129-2019.
    Description: he AlborEX (Alboran Sea Experiment) consisted of a multi-platform, multi-disciplinary experiment carried out in the Alboran Sea (western Mediterranean Sea) between 25 and 31 May 2014. The observational component of AlborEx aimed to sample the physical and biogeochemical properties of oceanographic features present along an intense frontal zone, with a particular interest in the vertical motions in its vicinity. To this end, the mission included 1 research vessel (66 profiles), 2 underwater gliders (adding up 552 profiles), 3 profiling floats, and 25 surface drifters. Near real-time ADCP velocities were collected nightly and during the CTD sections. All of the profiling floats acquired temperature and conductivity profiles, while the Provor-bio float also measured oxygen and chlorophyll a concentrations, coloured dissolved organic matter, backscattering at 700nm, downwelling irradiance at 380, 410, and 490nm, as well as photo-synthetically active radiation (PAR). In the context of mesoscale and sub-mesoscale interactions, the AlborEX dataset constitutes a particularly valuable source of information to infer mechanisms, evaluate vertical transport, and establish relationships between the thermal and haline structures and the biogeochemical variable evolution, in a region characterised by strong horizontal gradients provoked by the confluence of Atlantic and Mediterranean waters, thanks to its multi-platform, multi-disciplinary nature. The dataset presented in this paper can be used for the validation of high-resolution numerical models or for data assimilation experiment, thanks to the various scales of processes sampled during the cruise. All the data files that make up the dataset are available in the SOCIB data catalog at https://doi.org/10.25704/z5y2-qpye (Pascual et al., 2018). The nutrient concentrations are available at https://repository.socib.es:8643/repository/entry/show?entryid=07ebf505-bd27-4ae5-aa43-c4d1c85dd500 (last access: 24 December 2018).
    Description: We wish to thank the three anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments and the extensive check of the data files. AlborEx was conducted in the framework of PERSEUS EU-funded project (grant agreement no. 287600). Glider operations were partially funded by the JERICO FP7 project. Ananda Pascual acknowledges support from the Spanish National Research Program (E-MOTION/CTM2012-31014 and PRE-SWOT/CTM2016-78607-P). Simon Ruiz and Ananda Pascual are also supported by the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service (CMEMS) MedSUB project. Antonio Olita was supported by the JERICO-TNA program, through the FRIPP (FRontal Dynamics Influencing Primary Production) project. The profiling floats and some drifters were contributed by the Argo-Italy program. The proceedings of such an ambitious mission would not have been possible without the involvement of numerous staff both at sea and on land: Ana Massanet, Margarita Palmer, Irene Lizaran, Carlos Castilla, Pau Balaguer, Milena Menna, Kristian Sebastián, Sebastián Lora, and Antonio Bussani.
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2019-03-26
    Description: © The Authors, 2017. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Pascual, A., Ruiz, S., Olita, A., Troupin, C., Claret, M., Casas, B., Mourre, B., Poulain, P. M., Tovar-Sanchez, A., Capet, A., Mason, E., Allen, J. T., Mahadevan, A., & Tintore, J. A multiplatform experiment to unravel meso- and submesoscale processes in an intense front (AlborEx). Frontiers in Marine Science, 4(39), (2017), doi:10.3389/fmars.2017.00039.
    Description: The challenges associated with meso- and submesoscale variability (between 1 and 100 km) require high-resolution observations and integrated approaches. Here we describe a major oceanographic experiment designed to capture the intense but transient vertical motions in an area characterized by strong fronts. Finescale processes were studied in the eastern Alboran Sea (Western Mediterranean) about 400 km east of the Strait of Gibraltar, a relatively sparsely sampled area. In-situ systems were coordinated with satellite data and numerical simulations to provide a full description of the physical and biogeochemical variability. Hydrographic data confirmed the presence of an intense salinity front formed by the confluence of Atlantic Waters, entering from Gibraltar, with the local Mediterranean waters. The drifters coherently followed the northeastern limb of an anticyclonic gyre. Near real time data from acoustic current meter data profiler showed consistent patterns with currents of up to 1 m/s in the southern part of the sampled domain. High-resolution glider data revealed submesoscale structures with tongues of chlorophyll-a and oxygen associated with the frontal zone. Numerical results show large vertical excursions of tracers that could explain the subducted tongues and filaments captured by ocean gliders. A unique aspect of AlborEx is the combination of high-resolution synoptic measurements of vessel-based measurements, autonomous sampling, remote sensing and modeling, enabling the evaluation of the underlying mechanisms responsible for the observed distributions and biogeochemical patchiness. The main findings point to the importance of fine-scale processes enhancing the vertical exchanges between the upper ocean and the ocean interior.
    Description: The AlborEx experiment was conducted in the framework of PERSEUS EU-funded project (Grant agreement no: 287600). The experiment was led by the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) institution with strong involvement and cooperation from other national and international partners: Balearic Islands Coastal Observing and Forecasting System (SOCIB, Spain); Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR, Italy), McGill University (Canada); Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale (OGS, Italy) and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI, USA). Glider operations were partially funded by JERICO FP7 project. AP acknowledges support from the Spanish National Research Program (E-MOTION/CTM2012-31014 and PRE-SWOT/CTM2016-78607-P). SR and AP are also supported by the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service (CMEMS) MedSUB project. EM is supported by a post-doctoral grant from the Conselleria d'Educació, Cultura i Universitats del Govern de les Illes Balears (Mallorca, Spain) and the European Social Fund. AC is a FNRS researcher under the FNRS BENTHOX project (Convention T.1009.15). The altimeter products were produced by Ssalto/Duacs and distributed by CMEMS. The profiling floats and some drifters were contributed by the Argo-Italy program. The authors are in debt with A. Massanet, F. Margirier, M. Palmer, C. Castilla, P. Balaguer and for their efficient work and implication during the AlborEx cruise. We also thank M. Menna, G. Notarstefano and A. Bussani for their help with the drifter and float data processing and the production of some figures. This article was initiated during a research visit of the first two authors to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
    Keywords: mesoscale ; submesoscale ; ocean front ; Western Mediterranean ; integrated multidisciplinary ocean observations ; multiplatform ; numerical simulations
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2018-01-10
    Description: Author Posting. © The Author(s), 2017. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here under a nonexclusive, irrevocable, paid-up, worldwide license granted to WHOI. It is made available for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Ocean Dynamics 67 (2017): 767-782, doi:10.1007/s10236-017-1058-z.
    Description: Bio-physical glider measurements from a unique process-oriented experiment in the Eastern Alboran Sea (AlborEx) allowed us to observe the distribution of the deep chlorophyll maximum (DCM) across an intense density front, with a resolution (∼ 400 m) suitable for investigating sub-mesoscale dynamics. This front, at the interface between Atlantic and Mediterranean waters, had a sharp density gradient (Δρ ∼ 1 kg/m3 in ∼ 10 km) and showed imprints of (sub-)mesoscale phenomena on tracer distributions. Specifically, the chlorophyll-a concentration within the DCM showed a disrupted pattern along isopycnal surfaces, with patches bearing a relationship to the stratification (buoyancy frequency) at depths between 30 and 60 m. In order to estimate the primary production (PP) rate within the chlorophyll patches observed at the sub-surface, we applied the Morel and Andrè (J Geophys Res 96:685–698 1991) bio-optical model using the photosynthetic active radiation (PAR) from Argo profiles collected simultaneously with glider data. The highest production was located concurrently with domed isopycnals on the fresh side of the front, suggestive that (sub-)mesoscale upwelling is carrying phytoplankton patches from less to more illuminated levels, with a contemporaneous delivering of nutrients. Integrated estimations of PP (1.3 g C m−2d−1) along the glider path are two to four times larger than the estimations obtained from satellite-based algorithms, i.e., derived from the 8-day composite fields extracted over the glider trip path. Despite the differences in spatial and temporal sampling between instruments, the differences in PP estimations are mainly due to the inability of the satellite to measure DCM patches responsible for the high production. The deepest (depth 〉 60 m) chlorophyll patches are almost unproductive and probably transported passively (subducted) from upper productive layers. Finally, the relationship between primary production and oxygen is also investigated. The logarithm of the primary production in the DCM interior (chlorophyll (Chl) 〉 0.5 mg/m3) shows a linear negative relationship with the apparent oxygen utilization, confirming that high chlorophyll patches are productive. The slope of this relationship is different for Atlantic, mixed interface waters and Mediterranean waters, suggesting the presence of differences in planktonic communities (whether physiological, population, or community level should be object of further investigation) on the different sides of the front. In addition, the ratio of optical backscatter to Chl is high within the intermediate (mixed) waters, which is suggestive of large phytoplankton cells, and lower within the core of the Atlantic and Mediterranean waters. These observations highlight the relevance of fronts in triggering primary production at DCM level and shaping the characteristic patchiness of the pelagic domain. This gains further relevance considering the inadequacy of optical satellite sensors to observe DCM concentrations at such fine scales.
    Description: This work has been partly funded by the Jerico-TNA program, under the project named FRIPP (FRontal Dynamics Influencing Primary Production), and by the Italian Flagship Project RITMARE.
    Keywords: Primary production ; Glider ; Mediterranean sea ; Fronts ; Sub-mesoscale ; AOU
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
    Type: Preprint
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2020-02-06
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed , info:eu-repo/semantics/article
    Format: text
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2019
    Description: Abstract Oceanic fronts are dynamically active regions of the global ocean that support up‐ and down‐welling with significant implications for phytoplankton production and export. However (on timescales ≳ the inertial timescale), the vertical velocity is 103‐104 times weaker than the horizontal velocity, and is difficult to observe directly. Using intensive field observations in conjunction with a process study ocean model, we examine vertical motion and its effect on phytoplankton fluxes at multiple spatial horizontal scales in an oligotrophic region in the Western Mediterranean Sea. The mesoscale ageostrophic vertical velocity (~10 m day‐1) inferred from our observations, shapes the large‐scale phytoplankton distribution, but does not explain the narrow (1‐10 km wide) features of high chlorophyll content extending 40‐60 m downward from the deep chlorophyll maximum. Using modelling we show that downwelling submesoscale features concentrate 80% of the downward vertical flux of phytoplankton within just 15% of the horizontal area. These submesoscale spatial structures serve as conduits between the surface mixed layer and pycnocline and can contribute to exporting carbon from the sunlit surface layers to the ocean interior.
    Print ISSN: 2169-9275
    Electronic ISSN: 2169-9291
    Topics: Geosciences , Physics
    Published by Wiley on behalf of American Geophysical Union (AGU).
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2013-08-09
    Description: We conducted a prospective hospital based study from February 2009-April 2011 to identify the possible pathogens of central nervous system (CNS) infections in adults admitted to a tertiary referral hospital (Patan Hospital) in Kathmandu, Nepal. The pathogens of CNS infections were confirmed in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) using molecular diagnostics, culture (bacteria) and serology. 87 patients were recruited for the study and the etiological diagnosis was established in 38% (n = 33). The bacterial pathogens identified were Neisseria meningitidis (n = 6); Streptococcus pneumoniae (n = 5) and Staphylococcus aureus (n = 2) in 13/87(14%). Enteroviruses were found in 12/87 (13%); Herpes Simplex virus (HSV) in 2/87(2%). IgM against Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) was detected in the CSF of 11/73 (15%) tested samples. This is the first prospective molecular and serology based CSF analysis in adults with CNS infections in Kathmandu, Nepal. JEV and enteroviruses were the most commonly detected pathogens in this setting. Scientific Reports 3 doi: 10.1038/srep02382
    Electronic ISSN: 2045-2322
    Topics: Natural Sciences in General
    Published by Springer Nature
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2017-12-16
    Description: During winter 2012-2013, open-ocean deep convection which is a major driver for the thermohaline circulation and ventilation of the ocean, occurred in the Gulf of Lions (Northwestern Mediterranean Sea) and has been thoroughly documented thanks in particular to the deployment of several gliders, Argo profiling floats, several dedicated ship cruises, and a mooring array during a period of about a year. Thanks to these intense observational efforts, we show that deep convection reached the bottom in winter early in February 2013 in a area of maximum 28±3 10 9 m 9 . We present new quantitative results with estimates of heat and salt content at the sub-basin scale at different time scales (on the seasonal scale to a ten days basis) through optimal interpolation techniques, and robust estimates of the deep water formation rate of 2.0 ± 0.2 Sν . We provide an overview of the spatio-temporal coverage that has been reached throughout the seasons this year and we highlight some results based on data analysis and numerical modeling that are presented in this special issue. They concern key circulation features for the deep convection and the subsequent bloom such as Submesoscale Coherent Vortices (SCVs), the plumes and symmetric instability at the edge of the deep convection area.
    Print ISSN: 0148-0227
    Topics: Geosciences , Physics
    Published by Wiley on behalf of American Geophysical Union (AGU).
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  • 8
  • 9
    Publication Date: 2015-01-08
    Description: A twin numerical experiment was conducted in the seas of Sardinia (Western Mediterranean) to assess the impact, at coastal scales, of the use of relative winds (i.e. taking into account ocean surface currents) in the computation of heat and momentum fluxes through bulk formulas. The model, the Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS), was implemented at 2 km of resolution in order to well resolve (sub-)mesoscale dynamics. Small changes (1–2%) in terms of spatially-averaged fluxes correspond to quite large spatial differences of such quantities (up to 15–20%) and to comparably significant differences in terms of mean velocities of the surface currents. Wind power input of the wind stress to the ocean surface P results also reduced by a 15%, especially where surface currents are stronger. Quantitative validation with satellite SST suggests that such a modification on the fluxes improves the model solution especially in areas of cyclonic circulation, where the heat fluxes correction is predominant in respect to the dynamical correction. Surface currents changes above all in their fluctuating part, while the stable part of the flow show changes mainly in magnitude and less in its path. Both total and eddy kinetic energies of the surface current field results reduced in the experiment where fluxes took into account for surface currents. Dynamically, the largest correction is observed in the SW area where anticyclonic eddies approach the continental slope. This reduction also impacts the vertical dynamics and specifically the local upwelling that results diminished both in spatial extension as well in magnitude. Simulations suggest that, even at local scales and in temperate regions, it is preferable to take into account for such a component in fluxes computation. Results also confirm the tight relationship between local coastal upwelling and eddy-slope interactions in the area.
    Print ISSN: 1812-0806
    Electronic ISSN: 1812-0822
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2013-09-11
    Description: Phytoplankton bloom in NW Mediterranan sea is a seasonal event that mainly occurrs in a limited area (Gulf of Lyon and Provençal basin) where this phenomenon is promoted by a cyclonic circulation, strong wind-driven mixing and subsequent spring restratification. At the southern boundary of this area a density front (North Balearic Front) separating denser waters from the lighter Modified Atlantic Waters reservoir at south is suspected to trigger weaker and earlier (late winter) blooms by (a) enhanced pumping of nutrients into the euphotic layer and (b) promoting an early restratification of the water column (by frontal instabilities). A multisensor glider round trip, equipped with CTD and fluorimeter, crossing the frontal area in February–March 2013, allowed to observe the bloom triggering after the decrease of intense wind-driven turbulent convection and mixing. Satellite imagery supports and confirms in-situ observations. It was shown that frontal activity has a relevant role in the promotion and acceleration of the dynamical restratification, with a consequent biological response in terms of primary production. Restratification is necessary preconditioning factor for bloom triggering in frontal area, net of other involved mechanism promoting the bloom as the enhanced biological pump. So, like for high-latitude fronts (Taylor and Ferrari, 2011a), also for this mid-latitude oligotrophic region front seems to promote new production by dynamically enahnced restratification inhibiting mixing. Finally, we argued that Sverdrup's Critical Depth criterion seems to apply in the northern well-mixed area, where the zeroing of heat fluxes (and related turbulent convection) does not correspond to a prompt onset of the bloom (which appeared 1 month later).
    Print ISSN: 1812-0806
    Electronic ISSN: 1812-0822
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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