Water type quantification in the Skagerrak, the Kattegat and off the Jutland west coast
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionOceanologia 2015, 57(2):177-195 10.1016/j.oceano.2014.11.002
An extensive data series of salinity, nutrients and coloured dissolved organic material (CDOM) was collected in the Skagerrak, the northern part of the Kattegat and off the Jutland west coast in April each year during the period 1996–2000, by the Institute of Marine Research in Norway. In this month, after the spring bloom, German Bight Water differs from its surrounding waters by a higher nitrate content and higher nitrate/phosphate and nitrate/silicate ratios. The spreading of this water type into the Skagerrak is of special interest with regard to toxic algal blooms. The quantification of the spatial distributions of the different water types required the development of a new algorithm for the area containing the Norwegian Coastal Current, while an earlier Danish algorithm was applied for the rest of the area. From the upper 50 m a total of 2227 observations of salinity and CDOM content have been used to calculate the mean concentration of water from the German Bight, the North Sea (Atlantic water), the Baltic Sea and Norwegian rivers. The Atlantic Water was the dominant water type, with a mean concentration of 79%, German Bight Water constituted 11%, Baltic Water 8%, and Norwegian River Water 2%. At the surface the mean percentages of these water types were found to be 68%, 15%, 15%, and 3%, respectively. Within the northern part of the Skagerrak, closer to the Norwegian coast, the surface waters were estimated to consist of 74% Atlantic Water, 20% Baltic Water, and 7% Norwegian River Water. The analysis indicates that the content of German Bight Water in this part is less than 5%.