21 Jun 2021

21 Jun 2021

Review status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

Climatological distribution of dissolved inorganic nutrients in the Western Mediterranean Sea (1981–2017)

Malek Belgacem1,2, Katrin Schroeder1, Alexander Barth3, Charles Troupin3, Bruno Pavoni2, and Jacopo Chiggiato1 Malek Belgacem et al.
  • 1CNR-ISMAR, Arsenale Tesa 104, Castello 2737/F, 30122 Venezia, Italy
  • 2Dipartimento di Scienze Ambientali Informatica e Statistica, DAIS, Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Campus Scientifico Mestre, Italy
  • 3GeoHydrodynamics and Environment Research, GHER, University of Liège, Quartier Agora, Allée du 6-Août, 17, Sart Tilman, 4000 Liège 1, Belgium

Abstract. The Western MEDiterranean Sea BioGeochemical Climatology (BGC-WMED) presented here is a product derived from in situ observations. Annual mean gridded nutrient fields for the period 1981–2017, and its sub-periods 1981–2004 and 2005–2017, on a horizontal 1/4° × 1/4° grid have been produced. The biogeochemical climatology is built on 19 depth levels and for the dissolved inorganic nutrients nitrate, phosphate and orthosilicate. To generate smooth and homogeneous interpolated fields, the method of the Variational Inverse Model (VIM) was applied. A sensitivity analysis was carried out to assess the comparability of the data product with the observational data. The BGC-WMED has then been compared to other available data products, i.e. the medBFM biogeochemical reanalysis of the Mediterranean Sea and the World Ocean Atlas18 (WOA18) (its biogeochemical part). The BGC-WMED product supports the understanding of inorganic nutrient variability in the western Mediterranean Sea, in space and in time, but can also be used to validate numerical simulations making it a reference data product.

Malek Belgacem et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • CC1: 'Comment on essd-2021-149', Simona Simoncelli, 22 Jun 2021
  • CC2: 'Comment on essd-2021-149', Laurent Coppola, 14 Jul 2021
  • RC1: 'Comment on essd-2021-149', Anonymous Referee #1, 02 Aug 2021
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC1', Malek Belgacem, 15 Oct 2021
    • AC7: 'Reply on RC1', Malek Belgacem, 15 Oct 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on essd-2021-149', Anonymous Referee #2, 06 Sep 2021
    • AC4: 'Reply on RC2', Malek Belgacem, 15 Oct 2021

Malek Belgacem et al.

Data sets

A climatological product of inorganic nutrient distributions on the Western Mediterranean Sea (BGC-WMED) derived from cruise-based measurements spanning 1981 to 2017 Belgacem, M., Schroeder, K., Barth, A., Troupin, C., Pavoni, B., Chiggiato, J.

Malek Belgacem et al.


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Short summary
The Mediterranean Sea exhibits an anti-estuarine circulation, responsible for its low productivity. Understanding this peculiar character is still a challenge, since there is not an exact quantification of nutrient sinks and sources. Because nutrient in situ observations are generally infrequent and scattered in space and time, climatological mapping is often applied to sparse data in order to understand the biogeochemical state of the ocean.