Oceanologia No. 50 (3) / 08


Invited papers



Invited papers

The progress in knowledge of physical oceanography of the Gulf of Finland: a review for 1997-2007
Oceanologia 2008, 50(3), 287-362

Tarmo Soomere1,*, Kai Myrberg2, Matti Leppäranta3,  Alexei Nekrasov 4 
1Centre of Nonlinear Studies, Institute of Cybernetics at Tallinn University of Technology,
Akadeemia tee 21, EE-12618 Tallinn, Estonia;
e-mail: soomere@cs.ioc.ee
*corresponding author
2Finnish Institute of Marine Research,
Erik Palménin aukio 1, PO Box 2, FIN-00561 Helsinki, Finland
3Department of Physics, University of Helsinki,
Gustav Hällströmin katu 2, PO Box 64, FIN-00014 Helsinki, Finland
4Russian State Hydrometeorological University,
Malookhtinsky prospekt 98, RU-195196 St. Petersburg, Russia

Keywords: physical oceanography, European shelf seas, Baltic Sea, Gulf of Finland, hydrography, circulation, sea level, waves, sea ice, marine optics

Received 24 July 2008, revised 4 August 2008, accepted 29 August 2008.

This study was supported by the Estonian Science Foundation (Grant 7413), the Marie Curie RTN SEAMOCS (MRTN-CT-2005-019374), and the Maj and Tor Nessling Foundation (project Oil spill model for winter conditions in the Gulf of Finland). A large part of the paper was written during the visits of one of the authors (TS) to the Centre of Mathematics for Applications, University of Oslo within the framework of the MC TK project CENS-CMA (MC-TK-013909). We are grateful to Helgi Arst and her optics team from the Estonian Marine Institute for long-term collaborative research in the Estonian-Finnish project SUVI supported by the Estonian Academy of Sciences and the Academy of Finland.
The main findings of studies of the physical oceanography of the Gulf of Finland (GoF) during 1997-2007 are reviewed. The aim is to discuss relevant updates published in international peer-reviewed research papers and monographs, bearing in mind that a comprehensive overview of the studies up to the mid-1990s is available (Alenius et al. 1998). We start the discussion with updates on the basic hydrographical and stratification conditions, and progress in the understanding of atmospheric forcing and air-sea interaction. Advances in the knowledge of basin-scale and mesoscale dynamics are summarised next. Progress in circulation and water exchange dynamics has been achieved mostly by means of numerical studies. While the basic properties of circulation patterns in the gulf have been known for a century, new characteristics and tools such as water age, renewal index, and high-resolution simulations have substantially enriched our knowledge of processes in the Gulf of Finland during the last decade. We present the first overview of both status and advances in optical studies in this area. Awareness in this discipline has been significantly improved as a result of in situ measurements. Our understanding of the short- and long-term behaviour of the sea level as well as knowledge of the properties of both naturally and anthropogenically induced surface waves have expanded considerably during these ten years. Developments in understanding the ice conditions of the Gulf of Finland complete the overview, together with a short discussion of the gulf's future, including the response to climate change. Suggestions for future work are outlined.
full, complete article (PDF - compatibile with Acrobat 4.0), 4.9 MB


Contrasting zooplankton communities (Arctic vs. Atlantic) in the European Arctic Marginal Ice Zone
Oceanologia 2008, 50(3), 363-389

Katarzyna Błachowiak-Samołyk
Institute of Oceanology, Polish Academy of Sciences,
Powstańców Warszawy 55, PL-81-712 Sopot, Poland
e-mail: kasiab@iopan.gda.pl

Keywords: zooplankton communities, Arctic Marginal Ice Zone (MIZ), Barents Sea, Fram Strait, Arctic waters, Atlantic waters

Received 1 April 2008, revised 11 August 2008, accepted 18 August 2008.
Relationships between the zooplankton community and various environmental factors (salinity, temperature, sampling depth and bottom depth) were established in the European Arctic Marginal Ice Zone (MIZ) using multivariate statistics. Three main zooplankton communities were identified: an Atlantic Shallow Community (AtSC), an Arctic Shallow Community (ArSC) and a Deep Water Community (DWC). All species belonging to AtSC and ArSC were pooled and their relative abundances in the total zooplankton calculated with respect to a particular layer (surface, mid and deep strata), regions (the Barents Sea, Fram Strait and the waters off northern Svalbard), years (1999 or 2003) and seasons (spring or autumn). Mapping of the proportions of Arctic and Atlantic species led to the conclusion that zooplankton from the MIZs do not exactly follow complementary water masses, although the general pattern of AtSC and ArSC dominance accords with the physical oceanography of the study area (AtW and ArW respectively). The mid layer proved to be a better predictor of mesozooplankton distribution than the unstable conditions near the surface.
full, complete article (PDF - compatibile with Acrobat 4.0), 428.8 KB

Recovery of macrobenthic assemblages following experimental sand burial
Oceanologia 2008, 50(3), 391-420

Benjamín Yáñez1a,*, José L. Carballo1, Celia Olabarria2, José J. Barrón1a
1Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, (Unidad Académica Mazatlán),
Apartado Postal 811, Mazatlán 82000, México
1aPosgrado en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología, UNAM;
e-mail: benjamin@ola.icmyl.unam.mx
*corresponding author
2Departamento de Ecoloxía e Bioloxía Animal, Universidad de Vigo, Campus Lagoas-Marcosende,
36310 Vigo (Pontevedra), Spain

Keywords: sand burial, disturbance, macrobenthic recovery, wave exposure, intertidal rocky shore

Received 27 June 2008, revised 29 August 2008, accepted 5 September 2008.

This research was supported by a fund provided by the Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología (UNAM) and a fund provided to Celia Olabarria in 2004 and 2005 by the University of Vigo for overseas short stays.
Periodic inundation by sand is a very common feature of rocky coasts throughout the world. Even so, there have been few direct observations or experiments to investigate the role of sediments on intertidal rocky shores. We designed a field experiment in Mazatlán Bay, Mexico, to test the initial impact and subsequent recovery of intertidal macrobenthic assemblages exposed to sand burial at two sites of varying wave exposure. Both sites supported different natural assemblages. Treatment plots for the addition of sediment and control plots (50 × 50 cm), separated by at least 1.5 m, were randomly placed across the mid-water tidal level. The initial response of the resident macrobenthos and the subsequent recolonization was monitored over a period of 95 days. The main effect of sediment deposition at both sites was mortality and removal of biota due to smothering. The recovery process was rapid and may in part have been the result of the mechanism by which the small, disturbed patches were recolonized. Most of the invertebrates colonized the patches as adults; several seaweeds exhibited vegetative growth as the major mechanism of colonization (e.g., Ulva lactuca Linnaeus, 1753, Amphiroa valonioides Yendo, 1902 and Chaetomorpha antennina (Borgensen) Kutzing, 1849). The rate of recovery varied between the sites, however. Recovery of species numbers proceeded quickly at the sheltered site (day 7), but took 95 days at the exposed site. In contrast, biomass reached control levels by day 45 at the sheltered site, but already by day 15 at the exposed site. By day 95, the assemblages recovered to 83.5% and 81% similarity with the controls at the sheltered and exposed sites respectively. Although differences in wave exposure could be very important in determining the different patterns of recovery at both sites, other biological processes may also play an important part.
full, complete article (PDF - compatibile with Acrobat 4.0), 2.7 MB

Relationship between biomarker responses and contaminant concentration in selected tissues of flounder (Platichthys flesus) from the Polish coastal area of the Baltic Sea
Oceanologia 2008, 50(3), 421-442

Dorota Napierska, Magdalena Podolska*
Sea Fisheries Institute,
Kołłątaja 1, PL-80-332 Gdynia, Poland;
e-mail: bilbo@mir.gdynia.pl
*corresponding author

Keywords: Baltic Sea, contaminants, flounder, biomarkers

Received 7 February 2008, revised 26 June 2008, accepted 23 July 2008.
Previous studies in the Gulf of Gdańsk discussed the responses of selected enzymatic biomarkers to the contaminant gradient in fish and mussels. In the present study, flounder muscle and liver tissues were analyzed for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB congeners: 28, 52, 101, 118, 138, 153 and 180), organochlorine pesticides (HCHs, HCB and DDTs), and trace metals (Pb, Cd, Zn, Cu, Hg, Cr). An attempt was made to identify the relationship between the measured enzymatic biomarker responses (cholinesterases, malic enzyme, isocitrate dehydrogenase, glutathione S-transferase) and contaminant concentrations in selected flounder tissues. The observed differences in enzymatic biomarker levels suggest that chronic exposure to low-concentration mixtures of contaminants may be occurring in the studied area. However, no conclusive evidence was found of a clear link between the biomarker responses and contaminant concentrations in flounder tissues.
full, complete article (PDF - compatibile with Acrobat 4.0), 249.7 KB


New data on the non-indigenous gammarids in the Vistula Delta and the Vistula Lagoon
Oceanologia 2008, 50(3), 443-447

Justyna Surowiec, Aldona Dobrzycka-Krahel*
Institute of Oceanography, University of Gdańnsk,
al. Marszałka Piłsudskiego 46, PL-81-378 Gdynia, Poland;
e-mail: aldona@ocean.ug.gda.pl
*corresponding author

Keywords: non-indigenous species, southern Baltic, Vistula Delta, Vistula Lagoon, Poland

Received 17 April 2008, revised 9 September 2008, accepted 15 September 2008.
This communication reports on the occurrence of non-indigenous gammarid species of Ponto-Caspian and of North American origin - in the lower course of the River Vistula, in its Delta and in the Vistula Lagoon.
full, complete article (PDF - compatibile with Acrobat 4.0), 97.4 KB