Analysis of salinity measurements near islands on the French continental shelf of the Bay of Biscay

Type Article
Date 2006-06
Language English
Author(s) Lazure PascalORCID1, Jegou Anne-Marie1, Kerdreux Michel1
Affiliation(s) 1 : IFREMER, Direct Environm Littoral, Serv Applicat Operat, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
Source Scientia Marina (0214-8358) (Institut de Ciències del Mar de Barcelona, CSIC), 2006-06 , Vol. 70 , N. 1 , P. 7-14
WOS© Times Cited 12
Keyword(s) Bay of Biscay, Continental shelf, River plume, Seasonal variability, Salinity, Hydrology
Abstract The Bay of Biscay is characterised by large fresh water inputs from two major rivers, the Loire and the Gironde, with a mean discharge of about 900 m(3)/s. To describe the spatial and temporal variability of the Loire and Gironde plumes, continuous salinity measurements were made at 4 locations on French coastal islands over periods lasting at least two years. These islands are located at a distance from the large local gradients linked to local inputs. Whereas sea surface salinity in the centre of the Bay of Biscay is 35.6, salinities at the coast vary between about 35 in summer to occasionally less than 30 in late winter or in spring. Minimum salinities do not occur at the same time along the coast, indicating a strong spatial gradient. Near the Loire and Gironde estuaries, a strong temporal correlation between discharges and salinity variation appears. Far from the estuaries, some drops in salinity seem to be correlated with a change of wind regime. In summer, a general decrease from north to south is found along the coast and may be linked to northwesterly wind conditions, which drive surface water to SW of the bay. These data constitute the first set of time series of salinity. They will be pursued to assess the interannual variability which is presumed to be high because of the large variability in river discharges and wind regimes.
Full Text
File Pages Size Access
publication-3957.pdf 8 338 KB Open access
Top of the page

How to cite 

Lazure Pascal, Jegou Anne-Marie, Kerdreux Michel (2006). Analysis of salinity measurements near islands on the French continental shelf of the Bay of Biscay. Scientia Marina, 70(1), 7-14. Open Access version :