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CNR: Alamanacco della Scienza

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N. 20 - 14 dic 2011
ISSN 2037-4801

International info   a cura di Cecilia Migali

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Italy‘s longest river flowing into the Adriatic Sea

Researchers of Cnr-Institute of Marine Sciences (Ismar) have discovered a link between the exceptional Po River flood occurred in 2000 and the characteristics of the Adriatic Sea. The study is published in 'Dynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans'.

Spatial and temporal distributions of water temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen and nutrients over the basin are presented. To better understand the impact of river flood during 2001, an analysis of a data-set along a transect during the years 1999-2002 is carried out. Results confirmed that the Po River outflows strongly affect the physical and chemical characteristics of the basin.

In particular, during 2001, a sharp decrease in salinity and an increase in nutrient and fluorescence concentrations occurred in the northwestern Adriatic Sea after the 2000 flood event. The amount of nutrients transported during the river flood into the northwestern part of the basin is depleted by phytoplankton uptake until April 2001. All the nutrients were consumed before they could enrich the eastern coast, even though the freshwater input extends towards the Croatian coast. The Po River discharge flowing into the North Adriatic Sea during October-November 2000 is twice the mean discharge of the 2-month period and diluting the basin sufficiently to influence the North Adriatic Deep Water formation, almost absent in winter 2001.

Researchers confirm that the flood event contributed to modifying the physical and chemical dynamics of the Adriatic Sea and that its influence is clearly visible even 5-6 months later.

Fonte: Mauro Marini, Istituto di scienze marine, Ancona, tel. +39071 2078840, email m.marini@ismar.cnr.it