Hydrodynamic Circulation Modelling in the Marine Environment

A special issue of Journal of Marine Science and Engineering (ISSN 2077-1312). This special issue belongs to the section "Physical Oceanography".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (25 May 2024) | Viewed by 21296

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Guest Editor
Laboratory of Maritime Engineering and Maritime Works, Oceanography and Coastal Engineering Group (OCE Group), Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
Interests: physical oceanography; ocean circulation; ocean modeling; marine pollution; oil spills; eutrophication; observational studies; satellite oceanography; storm surges; air-sea interactions
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Guest Editor
Laboratory of Maritime Engineering, School of Civil Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
Interests: coastal engineering; storm surge modeling; wave modeling; surf zone dynamics; coastal flooding; coastal inundation models; operational forecasts; climate change impacts; coastal zone management; sea level variations
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Modelling the hydrodynamic circulation in the marine environment is one of the most challenging topics in the marine sciences. Several aspects of the marine environment (e.g., biochemical and geological processes) are strongly determined by the prevailing ocean circulation patterns, and generally by the distribution of physical properties both in the open ocean and in the coastal zone. We are pleased to invite you to share your research in the Special Issue "Hydrodynamic Circulation Modelling in the Marine Environment".

This Special Issue aims to explore the recent advances in hydrodynamic numerical modelling and discuss how these contribute to the existing knowledge of the ocean dynamics covering small- and large-scale processes under past, current, and future climatic conditions. The marine pollution risks related to industry, urban environment, agriculture, oil drilling, and shipping, in tandem with climate change effects, require the development of state-of-the-art numerical techniques to simulate the marine environment. Numerical simulations, together with field, satellite, and laboratory methods, are powerful tools for monitoring and understanding marine processes. Numerical modelling also contributes to the development and testing of the most appropriate management strategies and policies. Coupling techniques between hydrodynamic modelling and biochemical and atmospheric models and advanced parameterization techniques (air–sea interactions, mixing schemes, nesting approaches, boundary conditions, freshwater fluxes, topography effects, data assimilation methods, etc.) are critical to improve the performance of the numerical simulations and enhance transboundary scientific knowledge. The scope of this Special Issue is to publish articles that illustrate the hydrodynamic circulation modelling capabilities to reproduce realistic conditions and advance our knowledge of the mechanisms that control ocean and coastal dynamics as well as marine water quality.

In this Special Issue, original research articles and reviews are welcome.

We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Dr. Ioannis Androulidakis
Dr. Christos Makris
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Operational hydrodynamic numerical modelling
  • Coastal, regional, and global circulation processes
  • Modelling of marine pollution
  • Advances in wave-induced circulation modelling and applications
  • Coastal hydrodynamic circulation impact on sediment transport and erosion
  • Storm surge modelling
  • Process-oriented studies of physical processes
  • Coupling between hydrodynamic, biochemical, wave, geological, and meteorological modelling
  • Data assimilation techniques
  • Interaction between physical processes and biochemical phenomena
  • Climate change effects in the marine environment
  • Interaction between drainage, deltaic systems, and marginal seas
  • Lagrangian numerical techniques

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

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18 pages, 4957 KiB  
Article
Amazon River Plume in the Western Tropical North Atlantic
by Eugene G. Morozov, Dmitry I. Frey, Pavel A. Salyuk and Maxim V. Budyansky
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2024, 12(6), 851; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse12060851 - 21 May 2024
Viewed by 513
Abstract
Measurements of temperature, salinity, and currents in the Amazon River plume over a section in the open ocean of the western tropical North Atlantic (38°48′ W) are considered. The measurements were carried out using an AML Base X CTD probe in the upper [...] Read more.
Measurements of temperature, salinity, and currents in the Amazon River plume over a section in the open ocean of the western tropical North Atlantic (38°48′ W) are considered. The measurements were carried out using an AML Base X CTD probe in the upper layer and a flow-through system that measures salinity, turbidity, and chlorophyll-a content in seawater while a vessel is on the way. The measurements were supplemented by velocity profiling using shipborne SADCP. Additionally, archived oceanographic data from the World Ocean Database (WOD18), data on satellite altimetry measurements (AVISO), and satellite salinity data from Aquarius and SMOS were used. It is shown that the width of the Amazon River plume is about 170–400 km and the depth of desalination is from 50 to 100 m. Surface salinity decreases compared to the background (36.1) by 0.25 in February and by more than 3.0 in September during the period of maximum development of the plume, which was determined from satellite measurements of surface salinity. Lagrangian modeling of the back-in-time advection of passive markers simulating freshwater particles was carried out. It was shown that the source of freshwater in the measurement area is discharge from the Amazon River. Amazon River freshwater covered a distance of 3300 km in 60–80 days. The estimate of freshwater transport in the plume was 0.02 Sv, which is one order of magnitude smaller than the mean river discharge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrodynamic Circulation Modelling in the Marine Environment)
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22 pages, 9107 KiB  
Article
Modes of Weather System-Induced Flows through an Arctic Lagoon
by Chunyan Li, Wei Huang, Changsheng Chen, Kevin M. Boswell and Renhao Wu
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2024, 12(5), 767; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse12050767 - 30 Apr 2024
Viewed by 872
Abstract
With the increasing warming of the Arctic, the summertime ice-free period in the coastal Arctic becomes longer and the water exchange between arctic lagoons and coastal Beaufort Sea becomes more important for land–ocean interaction. This study examined the dynamics of water exchange between [...] Read more.
With the increasing warming of the Arctic, the summertime ice-free period in the coastal Arctic becomes longer and the water exchange between arctic lagoons and coastal Beaufort Sea becomes more important for land–ocean interaction. This study examined the dynamics of water exchange between the arctic lagoons and the Arctic Ocean under the influence of weather systems (the transient arctic cyclones and hovering Beaufort High pressure system). We implemented rare observations, numerical modeling with the Finite Volume Community Ocean Model (FVCOM), and a forcing-response Empirical Orthogonal Function (fr-EOF) analysis to determine the weather-driven flow patterns and characteristics in the micro-tidal arctic lagoon (Elson Lagoon) with little freshwater discharge. The results were validated for both tidal and subtidal currents with in situ data. The inlets of the lagoon were significantly impacted by wind associated with the weather systems and the flows through the inlets were highly correlated with each other. The fr-EOF analysis for the 1.5-month FVCOM output indicated three significant modes of wind-driven flow. In the deepest (~16 m) northwestern-most inlet, a counter-wind flow occurred more than 96% of the time due to setup and set down of water level inside the lagoon and the vorticity balance related to the wind stress and water depth. For about 60–80% of the time, the exchange flow was out of the lagoon through the northwestern-most and deepest inlet due to the strong easterly winds dictated by the Beaufort High; this dominant flow is mainly caused by the persistent easterly wind as a limb of the Beaufort High pressure system, modified by the transient arctic cyclones with a westerly wind and inward flows at the westernmost inlet of Elson Lagoon. This study shows that the alternating influence from the cyclone-anticyclone weather systems produces a meteorological tide in the subtidal spectrum which dominates the water exchange in the region through the multiple inlets. With the observed increase in cyclone strength and frequency under the warming trend, this may imply a greater contribution from the westerly wind because of the increased cyclonic activities. If this is the case, the inward flow might increase and have an effect on sediment, larval, and nutrient transports through this system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrodynamic Circulation Modelling in the Marine Environment)
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43 pages, 11999 KiB  
Article
Validation and Application of the Accu-Waves Operational Platform for Wave Forecasts at Ports
by Christos Makris, Andreas Papadimitriou, Vasilis Baltikas, Giannis Spiliopoulos, Yiannis Kontos, Anastasios Metallinos, Yannis Androulidakis, Michalis Chondros, Georgios Klonaris, Dimitra Malliouri, Nikolaos Nagkoulis, Dimitris Zissis, Vasiliki Tsoukala, Theophanis Karambas and Constantine Memos
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2024, 12(2), 220; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse12020220 - 25 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1432
Abstract
This paper presents a recently developed Operational Forecast Platform (OFP) for prevailing sea conditions at very important ports worldwide (Accu-Waves). The OFP produces reliable high-resolution predictions of wave characteristics in and around ocean ports. Its goal is to support safer navigation, predict possible [...] Read more.
This paper presents a recently developed Operational Forecast Platform (OFP) for prevailing sea conditions at very important ports worldwide (Accu-Waves). The OFP produces reliable high-resolution predictions of wave characteristics in and around ocean ports. Its goal is to support safer navigation, predict possible port downtime, assist vessel approaching, enhance management of towing services, and bolster secure ship maneuvering in busy ports around the globe. Accu-Waves OFP is based on integrated, high-resolution wave modelling over the continental shelf and in coastal areas that incorporates data from global- and regional-scale, open-sea wave and ocean circulation forecasts as boundary conditions. The coupling, nesting, calibration, and implementation of the models are reported and discussed in this paper, concerning 50 selected areas near and inside significant port basins. The detailed setup of the Accu-Waves OFP and its sub-system services is also provided regarding three-day forecasts at three-hourly intervals. The validation of the wave forecast system against in situ observations from wave buoys in coastal areas of the USA, Belgium, and Spain, as well as other model predictions by established OFPs, seems very promising, with performance skill scores ranging from adequate to very good. An exceptional case of stormy seas under severe marine weather conditions with very high wave maxima (>10 m) in the port of Algeciras is further discussed, confirming the good performance of the Accu-Waves OFP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrodynamic Circulation Modelling in the Marine Environment)
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17 pages, 8188 KiB  
Article
A Spectral Wave Model for Inhomogeneous Water Wave Fields Using the Quasi-Coherent Theory
by Vasilis Baltikas and Yannis N. Krestenitis
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2023, 11(11), 2066; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse11112066 - 29 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1009
Abstract
A numerical stochastic wave model was developed in this study based on the quasi-coherent theoretical framework proposed by Smit and Janssen in 2013. Subsequently, the model was implemented to reproduce and cross-confirm the findings of the quasi-coherent (QC) spectral wave modeling approach. The [...] Read more.
A numerical stochastic wave model was developed in this study based on the quasi-coherent theoretical framework proposed by Smit and Janssen in 2013. Subsequently, the model was implemented to reproduce and cross-confirm the findings of the quasi-coherent (QC) spectral wave modeling approach. The process included simulations of experiments conducted by Vincent and Briggs regarding waves propagating over a submerged shoal. The results of the simulations agree with the expected results of the QC theory, which can account for the spatial coherence of inhomogeneous wave fields and capture wave interference more accurately than conventional spectral wave models. In addition, extra insight was gained about aspects of the overall numerical implementation of the QC theory. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrodynamic Circulation Modelling in the Marine Environment)
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23 pages, 8893 KiB  
Article
Numerical Simulation of Hydrodynamics and Sediment Transport in the Surf and Swash Zone Using OpenFOAM®
by Ioannis Kazakis and Theophanis V. Karambas
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2023, 11(2), 446; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse11020446 - 17 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2427
Abstract
This study focuses on the numerical investigation of the 3D hydrodynamic processes of coastal zones such as wave breaking, wave-induced currents, and sediment transport, using the multiphase, interFoam solver of OpenFOAM® (a state-of-the-art, open-source CFD numerical tool). The numerical scheme is suitably [...] Read more.
This study focuses on the numerical investigation of the 3D hydrodynamic processes of coastal zones such as wave breaking, wave-induced currents, and sediment transport, using the multiphase, interFoam solver of OpenFOAM® (a state-of-the-art, open-source CFD numerical tool). The numerical scheme is suitably framed by initial conditions of wave propagation and absorption using waves2Foam wave library. The turbulence closure problem is handled using a buoyancy modified kω SST model. In order to predict the sediment transport rate due to waves and currents (bed load, sheet flow, and suspended load over ripples), a transport-rate formula involving unsteady aspects of the sand transport phenomenon is implemented. For the suspended load in the surf zone, the Bailard formula is adopted after considering that the dissipation mechanism is the wave breaking. Results concerning wave height, longshore current, turbulence kinetic energy, and sediment transport are compared against experimental data and semi-empirical expressions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrodynamic Circulation Modelling in the Marine Environment)
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21 pages, 6720 KiB  
Article
High-Resolution Model of Clew Bay—Model Set-Up and Validation Results
by Hazem Nagy, Ioannis Mamoutos, Glenn Nolan, Robert Wilkes and Tomasz Dabrowski
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2023, 11(2), 362; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse11020362 - 6 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2131
Abstract
Clew Bay is an important aquaculture production area in Ireland. In this study, we focused on a high-resolution simulation of the Clew Bay region based on a regional ocean modeling system (ROMS). Freshwater discharges from eight rivers are included in the model and [...] Read more.
Clew Bay is an important aquaculture production area in Ireland. In this study, we focused on a high-resolution simulation of the Clew Bay region based on a regional ocean modeling system (ROMS). Freshwater discharges from eight rivers are included in the model and a wetting–drying scheme has been implemented. The Clew Bay model simulation was validated and calibrated with available observations (e.g., acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP), vertical salinity and temperature profiles, and a tide gauge) in the geographic area of the model domain. High correlations were found between the model data and observed temperature, salinity and water levels, along with small root mean square errors. This indicates that the model is able to reproduce the oceanographic phenomena in the study area. The Taylor diagram analysis showed a high correlation coefficient (R = 0.99) between the observed bottom temperature in the Inner Bay and Clew Bay model, along with a small centered root mean square error (RMSD = 0.5 °C). High correlation coefficients (R > 0.80) were found between the model and the two ADCPs for the zonal current component. There was a resemblance in structure between the model and the observed salinity profiles, indicating that freshwater was correctly implemented in the model. Moreover, the correlation coefficient between the model and the tidal sea surface height (SSH) was 0.99, with an RMSD of 0.09 m. We discovered that wind direction and speed had a significant impact on the bay’s water inflow rate. The model outputs can be used to provide scientists, fishermen, and decision-makers with hydrodynamic information on ocean conditions in the bay. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrodynamic Circulation Modelling in the Marine Environment)
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22 pages, 8146 KiB  
Article
Water Exchange Due to Wind and Waves in a Monsoon Prevailing Tropical Atoll
by Shi-Ming Chen
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2023, 11(1), 109; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse11010109 - 5 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1690
Abstract
Physical forcings affect water exchange in coral reef atolls. Characteristics of the consequent water exchange depend on the atoll morphology and the local atmospheric and hydrographic conditions. The pattern of water exchange at the Dongsha atoll under the influences of tides, wind, and [...] Read more.
Physical forcings affect water exchange in coral reef atolls. Characteristics of the consequent water exchange depend on the atoll morphology and the local atmospheric and hydrographic conditions. The pattern of water exchange at the Dongsha atoll under the influences of tides, wind, and waves was investigated by conducting realistic modeling and numerical experiments. The analyses suggest that the southwestern wind could enhance the inflow transports at the southern reef flat and the outflow transports at the northern reef flat/north channel. The northeastern wind induces an inversed pattern. Unlike the wind, the waves always strengthen the inflow transports at the reef flat, and the locations of strengthened transports depend on the incident directions of the waves. Wind and waves induce shorter hydrodynamic time scales than tides, suggesting more vigorous water exchange during high wind and waves. The directions of wind and waves significantly affect the spatial distributions of the residence time and the age. This implies that the hydrodynamic processes in the Dongsha Atoll would have significant seasonal variability. This study presents different circulation patterns in an atoll system influenced by calm weather and strong wind/waves. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrodynamic Circulation Modelling in the Marine Environment)
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29 pages, 43301 KiB  
Article
Simulating the Interconnected Eastern Mediterranean–Black Sea System on Climatic Timescales: A 30-Year Realistic Hindcast
by Stamatios Petalas, Elina Tragou, Ioannis G. Mamoutos and Vassilis Zervakis
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2022, 10(11), 1786; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse10111786 - 20 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1845
Abstract
Inter-basin water exchanges can be quite important in climatic-scale numerical studies simulating the circulation and hydrographic characteristics of neighboring oceanic basins connected through narrow straits. The crucial role of the interaction between the Mediterranean and the Black Seas is often overseen in simulations, [...] Read more.
Inter-basin water exchanges can be quite important in climatic-scale numerical studies simulating the circulation and hydrographic characteristics of neighboring oceanic basins connected through narrow straits. The crucial role of the interaction between the Mediterranean and the Black Seas is often overseen in simulations, which rely mostly on parameterizations to describe the exchange, essentially decoupling the two basins. In this study, the fully interconnected Eastern Mediterranean–Black Sea system is simulated for the historical period (1985–2015) using realistic boundary conditions (lateral, atmospheric and hydrological), with a hydrodynamic fully three-dimensional ocean modeling system. The setup of such a configuration is thoroughly described and the performance of the 30-year hindcast product is validated exhaustively against observations and model results, by evaluating the representation of surface fields, circulation, three-dimensional hydrographic characteristics, volumetric water exchanges, and the spatio-temporal variability of the above. The comparison shows exceptional performance, minimal drift, and substantial improvement compared to modeling studies that do not include the interaction. Moreover, due to the free-run configuration of the simulation (i.e., absence of assimilation schemes) no additional input is required other than the respective boundary conditions, making it possible to reliably extend the same setup for scenarios where observational data are not available, such as in future projections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrodynamic Circulation Modelling in the Marine Environment)
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17 pages, 4981 KiB  
Article
Crisis Ocean Modelling with a Relocatable Operational Forecasting System and Its Application to the Lakshadweep Sea (Indian Ocean)
by Georgy I. Shapiro, Jose M. Gonzalez-Ondina, Mohammed Salim, Jiada Tu and Muhammad Asif
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2022, 10(11), 1579; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse10111579 - 25 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1887
Abstract
This study presents the Relocatable Operational Ocean Model (ReOMo), which can be used as a Crisis Ocean Modelling System in any region of the global ocean that is free from ice. ReOMo can be quickly nested into an existing coarser resolution (parent) model. [...] Read more.
This study presents the Relocatable Operational Ocean Model (ReOMo), which can be used as a Crisis Ocean Modelling System in any region of the global ocean that is free from ice. ReOMo can be quickly nested into an existing coarser resolution (parent) model. The core components of ReOMo are the NEMO hydrodynamic model and Rose-Cylc workflow management software. The principal innovative feature of ReOMo is the use of the Nesting with Data Assimilation (NDA) algorithm, which is based on the model-to-model assimilation technique. The NDA utilises the full 3D set of field variables from the parent model rather than just the 2D boundary conditions. Therefore, ReOMo becomes physically aware of observations that have been assimilated and dynamically balanced in the external model. The NDA also reduces the spatial phase shift of ocean features known as the ‘double penalty effect’. In this study, ReOMo was implemented for the Lakshadweep Sea in the Indian Ocean at 1/20°, 1/60°, or 1/120° resolution with and without model-to-model data assimilation. ReOMo is computationally efficient, and it was validated against a number of observational data sets to show good skills with an additional benefit of having better resolution than the parent model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrodynamic Circulation Modelling in the Marine Environment)
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21 pages, 11298 KiB  
Article
A High-Resolution Numerical Model of the North Aegean Sea Aimed at Climatological Studies
by Ioannis G. Mamoutos, Emmanuel Potiris, Elina Tragou, Vassilis Zervakis and Stamatios Petalas
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2021, 9(12), 1463; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9121463 - 20 Dec 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3398
Abstract
A new, high-resolution model for the northern part of the Aegean Sea, aimed primarily at climatological research (relaxation and data assimilation-free climate simulations), is hereby presented, along with the results of a 28-year-long simulation covering the period from 1986 to 2013. The model [...] Read more.
A new, high-resolution model for the northern part of the Aegean Sea, aimed primarily at climatological research (relaxation and data assimilation-free climate simulations), is hereby presented, along with the results of a 28-year-long simulation covering the period from 1986 to 2013. The model applied is the Regional Ocean Modelling System (ROMS). A significant improvement over previous models of the Aegean introduced in this work is the replacement of parameterizations of the Dardanelles exchange by a fully three-dimensional simulation of the flow in the Strait. The incorporation of part of the Marmara Sea in the model domain enables the interaction with other regional climate simulations, thus allowing climatic variability of the exchange of the Mediterranean and Black Seas. An extensive validation is carried out comparing the model output with all the available observations from several different platforms, i.e., satellite sea surface temperature and height, T/S profiles from R/V ships, and HF radar surface currents velocity. We focus on the model’s ability to reproduce, to some extent, the distinct thermohaline features and circulation patterns that characterize this specific area of the Mediterranean Sea. Our findings, after comparing simulation results with all the available observations, revealed the model’s sufficiency to simulate very adequately the complex hydrology of the North Aegean Sea, and the model’s ability to reproduce incidents of deep-water formation that took place in the region in previous decades during the Eastern Mediterranean Transient (EMT). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrodynamic Circulation Modelling in the Marine Environment)
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Review

Jump to: Research

54 pages, 21454 KiB  
Review
Oceanographic Research in the Thermaikos Gulf: A Review over Five Decades
by Yannis Androulidakis, Christos Makris, Katerina Kombiadou, Yannis Krestenitis, Natassa Stefanidou, Chryssanthi Antoniadou, Evangelia Krasakopoulou, Maria-Ignatia Kalatzi, Vasilis Baltikas, Maria Moustaka-Gouni and Chariton Charles Chintiroglou
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2024, 12(5), 795; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse12050795 - 9 May 2024
Viewed by 1191
Abstract
The Thermaikos Gulf (TG) is a semi-enclosed, river-influenced, marine system situated in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, sustaining both urban coastal regions and ecologically preserved natural areas. Facing a plethora of environmental and anthropogenic pressures, the TG serves as a critical nexus where human [...] Read more.
The Thermaikos Gulf (TG) is a semi-enclosed, river-influenced, marine system situated in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, sustaining both urban coastal regions and ecologically preserved natural areas. Facing a plethora of environmental and anthropogenic pressures, the TG serves as a critical nexus where human activities intersect with marine ecosystems. The quality and health of the TG’s marine environment are tightly linked to the socioeconomic activities of the coastal communities comprising approximately 1.5 million inhabitants. The main features of the TG’s environmental dynamics and ecological status have been scrutinized by dedicated research endeavors during the last 50 years. This review synthesizes the seminal findings of these investigations, offering an evaluation of their contribution to research, their present collective impact, and their trajectory toward the future. A severe deterioration of the TG’s environmental quality was detected in the 1970s and 1980s when the treatment of urban wastewater was completely absent. A steady trend of recovery was observed after the 1990s; however, so far, the goal of a “good environmental state” mandated by national legislation and European directives has not been achieved. A clear reduction in research was detected after 2010, associated with the recession of the Greek economy, following the “golden period” for research in the TG from the mid-1990s until the late 2000s. The most important research gaps and uncertainties are discussed, while specific targeted recommendations for the improvement of monitoring and understanding of the physical, biochemical, and ecological state of the gulf are provided: (i) increase in permanent observational stations (temporally and spatially); (ii) inclusion of all major environmental parameters; (iii) monitoring of the quantity and quality of all land-originated freshwater discharges; (iv) monitoring and management of important aspects of the marine environment that have received minimal attention in the past (e.g., coastal erosion, plastic pollution); (v) development of accurate prediction tools (e.g., numerical techniques) to support first-level responders and efficient management; (vi) establishment of a supervising public entity that would support the holistic overview and management of the entire TG. These suggestions are directed at overcoming the existing uncertainties in the knowledge of the TG, safeguarding its ecological integrity and its role as a crucial link to marine biodiversity and sustainability in the Mediterranean basin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrodynamic Circulation Modelling in the Marine Environment)
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