Coastal oceanographic signatures of heat waves and extreme events of dense water formation during the period 2002-2012 (Barcelona, NW Mediterranean)




coastal monitoring, decadal variability, water density, turbidity, fluorescence, extreme events


In a global context of climate change affecting the marine environment, it is important to consider the effect of extreme events in driving ecological change and to gain a better understanding of conditions to be expected under future scenarios. In this study we focus on monthly oceanographic data collected off Barcelona city during the period 2002-2012, in which extreme air temperatures and exceptional oceanographic events were reported in the western Mediterranean basin. These included two extreme heat waves and major episodes of dense water formation that produced unusually large deep-water contributions, induced oceanographic changes in the coastal zone and caused significant alterations to the marine ecosystem. To determine whether routine monitoring of oceanographic variables in a coastal zone can provide information for recognizing such large-scale events, temperature, salinity, turbidity and fluorescence were analysed to identify their signatures. The results provide an additional tool for monitoring oceanographic events and improving forecasts and future projections.


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How to Cite

Guillén J, Arin L, Salat J, Puig P, Estrada M, Palanques A, Simarro G, Pascual J. Coastal oceanographic signatures of heat waves and extreme events of dense water formation during the period 2002-2012 (Barcelona, NW Mediterranean). Sci. mar. [Internet]. 2018Dec.30 [cited 2024Apr.20];82(4):189-206. Available from:



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