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Multiplatform observation of the surface circulation in the Gulf of Naples (Southern Tyrrhenian Sea)

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Abstract

The Gulf of Naples (Southern Tyrrhenian Sea) is a highly urbanised area, where human activities and natural factors (e.g. river runoff, exchanges with adjacent basins) can strongly affect the water quality. In this work we show how surface transport can influence the distribution of passively drifting surface matter, and more in general if and how the circulation in the basin can promote the renovation of the surface layer. To this aim, we carried out a multiplatform analysis by putting together HF radar current fields, satellite images and modelling tools. Surface current fields and satellite images of turbidity patterns were used to initialise and run model simulations of particle transport and diffusion. Model results were then examined in relation to the corresponding satellite distributions. This integrated approach permits to investigate the concurrent effects of surface dynamics and wind forcing in determining the distribution of passive tracers over the basin of interest, identifying key mechanisms supporting or preventing the renewal of surface waters as well as possible areas of aggregation and retention.

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Acknowledgments

The authors wish to thank the organisers and participants of 42nd International Liege Colloquium on Ocean Dynamic for the constructive discussions on multiparametric observation of the sea. Insightful comments from two anonymous reviewers greatly improved this manuscript. The authors wish to thank Jeffrey Paduan for advice on coastal radar setup and data processing. Credits are also due to Giovanni Zambardino, Gennaro Bianco and Pasquale Mozzillo for supportive collaboration. The Dipartimento di Scienze per l’Ambiente of the “Parthenope” University operates the HF radar system on behalf of AMRA scarl (formerly CRdC AMRA), a Regional Competence Center for the Analysis and Monitoring of Environmental Risks. Our radar remote sites are hosted by the ENEA centre of Portici, the Fincantieri shipyard in Castellammare, the “Villa Angelina Village of High Education and Professional Training” and “La Villanella” resort in Massa Lubrense, whose hospitality is gratefully acknowledged. This work was partly funded by the MED TOSCA project, cofinanced by the European Regional Development Fund; by the PROMETEO project, funded by the Campania Region; by the PRIMI project, financed by the Italian Space Agency; by the FISR–VECTOR project (subtasks 4.1.5 and 4.1.6). Partial support from the Procura della Repubblica (Public Prosecutor’s office) of Torre Annunziata is also acknowledged. M. U. was financially supported by a PROMETEO grant (WP03).

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Correspondence to Marco Uttieri.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Multiparametric Observation and Analysis of the Sea

Responsible Editor: Pierre-Marie Poulain

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Uttieri, M., Cianelli, D., Nardelli, B.B. et al. Multiplatform observation of the surface circulation in the Gulf of Naples (Southern Tyrrhenian Sea). Ocean Dynamics 61, 779–796 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10236-011-0401-z

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Keywords

  • Gulf of Naples
  • HF radar
  • Satellite
  • Transport model