Oceanologia No. 53 (3) / 11



Invited Paper


Invited Paper

A brief analysis of North Sea physics
Oceanologia 2011, 53(3), 663-689

Jürgen Sündermann*, Thomas Pohlmann
Institute of Oceanography, University of Hamburg,
Bundesstr. 53, Hamburg D-20146, Germany;
e-mail: juergen.suendermann@zmaw.de
*corresponding author

keywords: shelf seas, marine physics, dynamical balances, tides, circulation, surges

Received 30 July 2011, revised 22 August 2011, accepted 29 August 2011.


The current state of understanding the North Sea's physical system is presented. First, basic phenomena like astronomical tides and general circulation will be described and analysed with respect to their physical nature and respective interactions. There will be special focus on fundamental dynamic balances. Next, some specific topics relevant to the marine ecosystem, the economy and society will be considered: among them, spreading and transport processes, the fresh water budget, the heat budget and storm surges. A separate section is dedicated to the North Sea of Tomorrow, i.e. the prospective variations of the physical environment resulting from global changes in future decades. The statements are based on the long experience of the authors and their groups and include findings that are little known if at all. The review finishes with a list of open questions and the corresponding research demands.

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Inherent optical properties of suspended particulate matter in the southern Baltic Sea
Oceanologia 2011, 53(3), 691-729

Sławomir B. Woźniak*, Justyna Meler, Barbara Lednicka, Agnieszka Zdun, Joanna Stoń-Egiert
Institute of Oceanology, Polish Academy of Sciences,
Powstańców Warszawy 55, Sopot 81-712, Poland;
e-mail: woznjr@iopan.gda.pl
*corresponding author

keywords: suspended particulate matter, inherent optical properties, light absorption, scattering and backscattering coefficients of particles

Received 14 December 2010, revised 16 June 2011, accepted 17 June 2011.

Financial support for this study was provided by research project grant No. N306 2838 33 awarded to S. B. Woźniak by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education and by Statutory Research Programme No. I.1 at the Institute of Oceanology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Sopot, Poland.


The inherent optical properties (IOPs) of suspended particulate matter and their relations with the main biogeochemical characteristics of particles have been examined in the surface waters of the southern Baltic Sea. The empirical data were gathered at over 300 stations in open Baltic Sea waters as well as in the coastal waters of the Gulf of Gdańsk. The measurements included IOPs such as the absorption coefficient of particles, absorption coefficient of phytoplankton, scattering and backscattering coefficients of particles, as well as biogeochemical characteristics of suspended matter such as concentrations of suspended particulate matter (SPM), particulate organic matter (POM), particulate organic carbon (POC) and chlorophyll a (Chl a). Our data documented the very extensive variability in the study area of particle concentration measures and IOPs (up to two orders of magnitude). Although most of the particle populations encountered were composed primarily of organic matter (av. POM/SPM = ca 0.8), the different particle concentration ratios suggest that the particle composition varied significantly. The relations between the optical properties and biogeochemical parameters of suspended matter were examined. We found significant variability in the constituent-specific IOPs (coefficients of variation (CVs) of at least 30% to 40%, usually more than 50%). Simple best-fit relations between any given IOP versus any constituent concentration parameter also highlighted the significant statistical errors involved. As a result, we conclude that for southern Baltic samples an easy yet precise quantification of particle IOPs in terms of the concentration of only one of the following parameters - SPM, POM, POC or Chl a - is not achievable. Nevertheless, we present a set of best statistical formulas for a rough estimate of certain seawater constituent concentrations based on relatively easily measurable values of seawater IOPs. These equations can be implemented in practice, but their application will inevitably entail effective statistical errors of estimation of the order of 50% or more.

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Temporal and spatial changes in the bio-optical properties of seawater in the Nordic Seas - AREX'2003 and 2006
Oceanologia 2011, 53(3), 731-743

Violetta Drozdowska1, Larisa Poryvkina2
1Institute of Oceanology, Polish Academy of Sciences,
Powstańców Warszawy 55, Sopot 81-712, Poland;
e-mail: drozdowska@iopan.gda.pl
2Laser Diagnostic Instruments (LDI) Ltd.,
Tallinn, Estonia;
e-mail: larisa@ldi.ee

keywords: chlorophylls, phytoplankton, Nordic Seas

Received 23 March 2011, revised 16 May 2011, accepted 17 June 2011.


For many years the Nordic Seas have been the subject of research into ocean circulation carried out by the Institute of Oceanology PAS, especially the inflow of Atlantic water and the intensive turbulent mixing of these waters with Arctic and shelf waters. Ocean currents affect various biological processes, among them the supply of organic matter and oxygen, which constitute the foundation for the unique flora and fauna of the Svalbard islands. Spectrophotometric examinations of surface waters using an M32 B spectrofluorophotometer (LDI Ltd.) were carried out repeatedly during Arctic cruises on board r/v "Oceania". The results presented in this paper come from the AREX campaigns of 2003 and 2006. Analysis of the chlorophyll a fluorescence excitation spectra recorded shows an increase in phytoplankton abundance and the changes in the spatial distribution of the phytoplankton species characteristic of Atlantic, Arctic and shelf waters. The spatial patterns of the phytoplankton pigments and their abundance were compared with the physical characteristics of water masses. The analysis confirmed that phytoplankton species move together with the Atlantic water as this flows into northern latitudes.

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Processes regulating pCO2 in the surface waters of the central eastern Gotland Sea: a model study
Oceanologia 2011, 53(3), 745-770

Ivan Kuznetsov1,*, Thomas Neumann1, Bernd Schneider1, Evgeniy Yakushev2
1Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research,
Seestrasse 15, Rostock-Warnemünde 18119, Germany;
e-mail: ivan.kuznetsov@smhi.se
*corresponding author
2Norwegian Institute for Water Research,
PO Box 333, Blindern, Oslo 3, Norway

keywords: biogeochemical modelling, Baltic Sea, Non-Redfield stoichiometry, nitrogen fixation

Received 22 March 2011, revised 18 July 2011, accepted 2 August 2011.

The German section of the Baltic Monitoring Programme (COMBINE) in the Baltic Sea is conducted by the IOW on behalf of the Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt and Hydrographie (BSH), financed by the Bundesministerium für Verkehr, Bau- und Wohnungswesen (BMCBW). This work was funded by DFG grant: NE G17/3-1 and the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme (FP/2007-2013) under grant agreement 217246 made with the joint Baltic Sea research and development programme BONUS (ECOSUPPORT).


This work presents a one-dimensional simulation of the seasonal changes in CO2 partial pressure (pCO2). The results of the model were constrained using data from observations, which improved the model's ability to estimate nitrogen fixation in the central Baltic Sea and allowed the impact of nitrogen fixation on the ecological state of the Baltic Sea to be studied. The model used here is the public domain water-column model GOTM (General Ocean Turbulence Model), which in this study was coupled with a modifed Baltic Sea ecosystem model, ERGOM (The Baltic Sea Research Institute's ecosystem model). To estimate nitrogen fixation rates in the Gotland Sea, the ERGOM model was modified by including an additional cyanobacteria group able to fix nitrogen from March to June. Furthermore, the model was extended by a simple CO2 cycle. Variable C:P and N:P ratios, controlled by phosphate concentrations in ambient water, were used to represent cyanobacteria, detritus and sediment detritus. This approach improved the model's ability to reproduce sea-surface phosphate and pCO2 dynamics. The resulting nitrogen fixation rates in 2005 for the two simulations, with and without the additional cyanobacteria group, were 259 and 278 mmol N m-2 year-1respectively.

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On the possibility of convective overturning in the Słupsk Furrow overflow of the Baltic Sea
Oceanologia 2011, 53(3), 771-791

Victor Zhurbas1,2, Jüri Elken2, Vadim Paka3, Jan Piechura4,*, Irina Chubarenko3, Germo Väli2, Nikolay Golenko3, Sergey Shchuka1
1P. P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of Sciences,
Nakhimovsky Prospect 36, Moscow 117997, Russia
2Marine Systems Institute, Tallinn University of Technology,
Akadeemia tee 21, Tallinn 12118, Estonia
3Atlantic Branch of the P. P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of Sciences,
Prospect Mira 1, Kaliningrad 236000, Russia
4Institute of Oceanology, Polish Academy of Sciences,
Powstańców Warszawy 55, Sopot 81-712, Poland;
e-mail: piechura@iopan.gda.pl
*corresponding author

keywords: Baltic Sea, dense water overflows, gravity currents, convective overturns

Received 29 April 2011, revised 11 July 2011, accepted 2 August 2011.

The work was sponsored by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (grant No. 09-05-00479) and the Estonian Science Foundation (grant No. 7328).


Closely spaced CTD transects across the Słupsk Furrow displayed a "downward-bending" of salinity contours below the salinity interface on the southern flank due to a transverse circulation in the saline water overflow. Numerical simulation of a gravity current in an idealized channel with geometry, dimensions and initial density stratification all much the same as in the Słupsk Furrow was applied to verify whether the downward-bending could be transformed into an inverted density stratification. Some arguments in favour of the possibility of convective overturning due to the differential transverse advection beneath the gravity current, brought on by the numerical simulations, are discussed.

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Effect of cadmium and glutathione on malic enzyme activity in brown shrimps (Crangon crangon) from the Gulf of Gdańsk
Oceanologia 2011, 53(3), 793-805

Natalia Niedźwiecka1, Adriana Mika1,2, Anna Białk-Bielińska2, Piotr Stepnowski2, Edward F. Skorkowski1,*
1Laboratory of Ecotoxicology, Gdańsk University Biological Station,
Ornitologów 26, Gdańsk-Sobieszewo 80-680, Poland;
e-mail: skorkows@biotech.ug.gda.pl
*corresponding author
2Department of Environmental Analysis, University of Gdańsk,
Sobieskiego 18/19, Gdańsk 80-952, Poland

keywords: Gulf of Gdańsk, shrimp, Crangon crangon, abdomen muscle, malic enzyme, cadmium, glutathione

Received 29 April 2011, revised 20 July 2011, accepted 12 August 2011.

This study was supported by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education within the framework of project No. 538-L102-0787-1.


The high level of cadmium in the abdominal muscle of the brown shrimp Crangon crangon is due to the serious pollution of the water in the Gulf of Gdańsk. The inhibition of malic enzyme (ME) activity by cadmium, and in consequence the reduced formation of NADPH, could interfere with cellular mechanisms for detoxifying the organism and reducing oxidative stress. The reduced glutathione (GSH) concentration in the abdominal muscle of C. crangon was calculated to be 5.8 mM. The objective of this study was to evaluate the part played by GSH in the effect of cadmium on the activity of NADP-dependent malic enzyme from abdominal muscles of brown shrimps. This enzyme is activated by certain divalent cations (Mg, Mn). The results demonstrate that cadmium inhibits ME activity from shrimp muscle, and that GSH and albumin can reduce this cadmium-inhibited NADP-dependent malic enzyme activity.

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Effect of mangrove forest structures on wave attenuation in coastal Vietnam
Oceanologia 2011, 53(3), 807-818

Tran Quang Bao
Vietnam Forestry University,
Xuan Mai, Chuong My, Ha Noi, Vietnam;
e-mail: baofuv@yahoo.com

keywords: mangrove forest, wave attenuation, mangrove band width, forest structures

Received 5 November 2011, revised 11 July 2011, accepted 2 August 2011.


This paper analyses wave attenuation in coastal mangrove forests in Vietnam. Data from 32 mangrove plots of six species located in 2 coastal regions are used for this study. In each plot, mangrove forest structures and wave height at different cross-shore distances are measured. Wave height closely relates to cross-shore distances. 92 exponential regression equations are highly significant with R2 > 0.95 and P val. < 0.001. Wave height reduction depends on initial wave height, cross-shore distances, and mangrove forest structures. This relationship is used to define minimum mangrove band width for coastal protection from waves in Vietnam.

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Phytoplankton and environmental variables as a water quality indicator for the beaches at Matrouh, south-eastern Mediterranean Sea, Egypt: an assessment
Oceanologia 2011, 53(3), 819-836

Samiha M. Gharib*, Zeinab M. El-Sherif, Ahmed M. Abdel-Halim, Ahmed A. Radwan
National Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries (NIOF),
Alexandria, Egypt;
e-mail: gharibsamiha@hotmail.com
*corresponding author

keywords: phytoplankton, environmental variables, diversity index, water quality, Matrouh beaches

Received 20 June 2011, revised 1 July 2011, accepted 2 August 2011.


This study was carried out to determine the water quality of the beaches at Matrouh, south-eastern Mediterranean Sea, Egypt, by studying environmental variables as well as phytoplankton abundance and community structure. Surface water samples were monitored from a series of beach sites over a period of five seasons during 2009-2010. A total of 203 phytoplankton species were identified from seven algal divisions. Seasonal differences in the quantitative and qualitative composition of the phytoplankton communities in the different sites were marked. Nutrient concentrations and phytoplankton abundances were found to be poorer than those of many other areas along Egyptian coast. The Shannon-Wiener Diversity Index classified Matrouh water as being between clean and moderately polluted, whereas the WQI demonstrated that it was between good and excellent. It can be concluded that the index based on WQI is currently more suitable than the phytoplankton species index for assessing the quality of the water of the Matrouh beaches.

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Seasonal composition and population density of zooplankton in Lake Timsah, Suez Canal, Egypt
Oceanologia 2011, 53(3), 837-859

Mohsen M. El-Sherbiny1,2,*, Ali M. Al-Aidaroos1, Ali Gab-Alla3
1Department of Marine Biology, Faculty of Marine Science, King Abdulaziz University,
P.O. Box 80207, Jeddah 21589, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia;
e-mail: mohsen.sherbiny@yahoo.com
*corresponding author

2Department of Marine Science, Faculty of Science,
Suez Canal University, Ismailia-41522, Egypt

3Department of Biological Science, Faculty of Applied Sciences,
Umm Al-Qura University, Makkah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

keywords: zooplankton, diversity, population, Lake Timsah, Suez Canal

Received 11 January 2011, revised 8 July 2011, accepted 2 August 2011.


Zooplankton composition and abundance were investigated seasonally at ten sites in Lake Timsah and the adjacent, connected western lagoon in relation to the physico-chemical conditions. A total of 42 taxa (including larval stages) were identified, among them 21 species of copepods, 6 rotifers, 5 cladocerans, 1 chaetognath and 1 urochordate. Copepods represented the predominant component (77.7% of the total community), followed by rotifers, molluscs, cladocerans and (9.2, 4.7 and 3.9% respectively), while other groups collectively formed about 4.5% of the total zooplankton population. Summer was the most productive season with an average count of 40 864 individuals m-3. The dominant copepod species were Paracalanus crassirostris and Oithona nana representing 28.3 and 24.3% of the total zooplankton respectively. The total zooplankton count, including copepods, and its dominant species showed significant positive correlations with temperature, pH and total phytoplankton density. However, negative correlations were detected between densities of rotifers, and salinity and dissolved oxygen.

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Relationships between coastal processes and properties of the nearshore sea bed dynamic layer
Oceanologia 2011, 53(3), 861-880

Rafał Ostrowski*, Zbigniew Pruszak
Institute of Hydro-Engineering, Polish Academy of Sciences (IBW PAN),
Kościerska 7, Gdańsk 80-328, Poland;
e-mail: rafal.o@ibwpan.gda.pl
*corresponding author

keywords: dynamic layer, sandy sediments, multi-bar shore, southern Baltic coast

Received 31 May 2011, revised 29 July 2011, accepted 25 August 2011.

The study was sponsored by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, Poland, under the IBW PAN statutory programme No. 2, which is hereby gratefully acknowledged.


The paper discusses the notion of a layer of sandy sediments overlying a substratum of cohesive deposits in the coastal zone. This layer of sand is generally more mobile and is therefore conventionally referred to as the dynamic layer. Its parameters are important to coastal lithodynamic and morphodynamic processes caused by waves and currents. On the other hand, the dynamic layer is formed by nearshore hydrodynamic impact. The variability of the features of the dynamic layer on the southern Baltic dune and cliff shores in Poland is analysed on the basis of selected geological data supported by local seismo-acoustic field investigations. It appears that the conventional notion of the dynamic layer makes sense only in specific geomorphologic conditions. In such cases, mostly related to cliff shores, theoretical modelling of sediment transport should take the properties of the dynamic layer into account.

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The trophic state of the Vistula Lagoon: an assessment based on selected biotic and abiotic parameters according to the Water Framework Directive
Oceanologia 2011, 53(3), 881-894

Lidia Nawrocka1, Justyna Kobos2,*
1Institute of Technology, The State School of Higher Professional Education in Elbląg,
Wojska Polskiego 1, Elbląg 82-300, Poland
2Department of Marine Biology and Ecology, Institute of Oceanography, University of Gdańsk,
al. Marszałka Piłsudskiego 46, Gdynia 81-378, Poland;
e-mail: ocejl@univ.gda.pl
*corresponding author

keywords: trophic state indices, phytoplankton functional groups, Vistula Lagoon, Water Framework Directive

Received 28 April 2011, revised 4 August 2011, accepted 22 August 2011.

This work was supported by the Norway grants PNRF 82 AI.


The aim of the study was to determine the trophic state of the Vistula Lagoon in 2007-2009. The analysis of various trophic state indices, abiotic parameters and different water classifications indicated the eutrophy and even advanced hypereutrophy of the lagoon waters. The composition, abundance and biomass of phytoplankton likewise reflect the eutrophic nature of this water body. For this lagoon, Reynold's functional groups of phytoplankton wereused as an indicator of eutrophication for the first time. The dominant phytoplankton organisms in the surface waters belong to 8 functional groups: S1, X1, F, J, K, H1, LO, M. Some key concepts of the EU Water Framework Directive were implemented in this study.

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