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Article

Observation of Abrupt Changes in the Sea Surface Layer of the Adriatic Sea

1
Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries, 21000 Split, Croatia
2
University Department of Marine Studies, University of Split, 21000 Split, Croatia
3
Faculty of Science, University of Split, 21000 Split, Croatia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Chung-yen Kuo
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2022, 10(7), 848; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse10070848
Received: 7 April 2022 / Revised: 16 June 2022 / Accepted: 17 June 2022 / Published: 22 June 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Technologies and Methods in Coastal Observing)
We observed interannual changes in the temperature and salinity of the surface layer of the Adriatic Sea when measured during the period 2005–2020. We observed non-stationarity and a positive linear trend in the series of mixed layer depth, heat storage, and potential energy anomalies. This non-stationarity was related to the climate regime that prevailed between 2011 and 2017. We observed significant changes in the interannual variability of salinity above and below the mixed layer depth and a positive difference in the surface barrier layer. In an effort to reconstruct the cause of this phenomenon, a multi-stage investigation was conducted. The first suspected culprit was the change in wind regime over the Mediterranean and Northeast Atlantic regions in September. Using the growing neural gas algorithm, September wind fields over the past 40 years were classified into nine distinct patterns. Further analysis of the CTD data indicated an increase in heat storage, a physical property of the Adriatic Sea known to be strongly influenced by the inflow of warm water masses controlled by the bimodal oscillating system (BiOS). The observed increase in salinity confirmed the assumption that BiOS activity affects heat storage. Unexpectedly, this analysis showed that an inverse vertical salinity profile was present during the summer months of 2015, 2017, and 2020, which can only be explained by salinity changes being a dominant factor. In addition, the aforementioned wind regime caused an increase in energy loss through latent energy dissipation, contributing to an even larger increase in salinity. While changes in the depth of the mixed layer in the Adriatic are usually due to temperature changes, this phenomenon was primarily caused by abrupt changes in salinity due to a combination of BiOS and local factors. This is the first record of such an event. View Full-Text
Keywords: mixed layer depth; climate regimes; heat storage; sea surface layer; heat fluxes; neural gas; wind patterns mixed layer depth; climate regimes; heat storage; sea surface layer; heat fluxes; neural gas; wind patterns
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MDPI and ACS Style

Matić, F.; Džoić, T.; Kalinić, H.; Ćatipović, L.; Udovičić, D.; Juretić, T.; Rakuljić, L.; Sršen, D.; Tičina, V. Observation of Abrupt Changes in the Sea Surface Layer of the Adriatic Sea. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2022, 10, 848. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse10070848

AMA Style

Matić F, Džoić T, Kalinić H, Ćatipović L, Udovičić D, Juretić T, Rakuljić L, Sršen D, Tičina V. Observation of Abrupt Changes in the Sea Surface Layer of the Adriatic Sea. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering. 2022; 10(7):848. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse10070848

Chicago/Turabian Style

Matić, Frano, Tomislav Džoić, Hrvoje Kalinić, Leon Ćatipović, David Udovičić, Tea Juretić, Lucija Rakuljić, Daria Sršen, and Vjekoslav Tičina. 2022. "Observation of Abrupt Changes in the Sea Surface Layer of the Adriatic Sea" Journal of Marine Science and Engineering 10, no. 7: 848. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse10070848

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