Large and local-scale influences on physical and chemical characteristics of coastal waters of Western Europe during winter

Type Article
Date 2014-11
Language English
Author(s) Treguer Paul1, Goberville Eric2, Barrier Nicolas3, 5, L'Helguen Stephane1, Morin Pascal4, Bozec Yann4, Rimmelin-Maury Peggy1, Czamanski Marie1, Grossteffan Emilie1, Cariou Thierry4, Repecaud MichelORCID5, Quemener LoicORCID5
Affiliation(s) 1 : Univ Europeenne Bretagne, UMR LEMAR 6539, UMS OSU IUEM UBO, Brest, France.
2 : Univ Lille 1, Lab Oceanol & Geosci, UMR LOG 8187, F-62930 Wimereux, France.
3 : Univ Europeenne Bretagne, UMR LEO IUEM Ifremer 6523, Brest, France.
4 : OSU SBR UPMC, Roscoff, France.
5 : Ifremer Ctr Brest, REM RDT DCM, Brest, France.
Source Journal Of Marine Systems (0924-7963) (Elsevier Science Bv), 2014-11 , Vol. 139 , P. 79-90
DOI 10.1016/j.jmarsys.2014.05.019
WOS© Times Cited 33
Keyword(s) Coastal systems, Climate variability, Large-scale hydro-climatic indices, River inputs, Time-series, Weather regimes
Abstract There is now a strong scientific consensus that coastal marine systems of Western Europe are highly sensitive to the combined effects of natural climate variability and anthropogenic climate change. However, it still remains challenging to assess the spatial and temporal scales at which climate influence operates. While large-scale hydro-climatic indices, such as the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) or the East Atlantic Pattern (EAP) and the weather regimes such as the Atlantic Ridge (AR), are known to be relevant predictors of physical processes, changes in coastal waters can also be related to local hydro-meteorological and geochemical forcing. Here, we study the temporal variability of physical and chemical characteristics of coastal waters located at about 48°N over the period 1998-2013 using (1) sea surface temperature, (2) sea surface salinity and (3) nutrient concentration observations for two coastal sites located at the outlet of the Bay of Brest and off Roscoff, (4) river discharges of the major tributaries close to these two sites and (5) regional and local precipitation data over the region of interest. Focusing on the winter months, we characterize the physical and chemical variability of these coastal waters and document changes in both precipitation and river runoffs. Our study reveals that variability in coastal waters is connected to the large-scale North Atlantic atmospheric circulation but is also partly explained by local river influences. Indeed, while the NAO is strongly related to changes in sea surface temperature at the Brest and Roscoff sites, the EAP and the AR have a major influence on precipitations, which in turn modulate river discharges that impact sea surface salinity at the scale of the two coastal stations.
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Treguer Paul, Goberville Eric, Barrier Nicolas, L'Helguen Stephane, Morin Pascal, Bozec Yann, Rimmelin-Maury Peggy, Czamanski Marie, Grossteffan Emilie, Cariou Thierry, Repecaud Michel, Quemener Loic (2014). Large and local-scale influences on physical and chemical characteristics of coastal waters of Western Europe during winter. Journal Of Marine Systems, 139, 79-90. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :