Ocean Dynamics

, Volume 65, Issue 12, pp 1665–1684 | Cite as

Assessment of the Black Sea observing system. A focus on 2005-2012 Argo campaigns

  • Sebastian GrayekEmail author
  • Emil V. Stanev
  • Johannes Schulz-Stellenfleth
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Coastal Ocean Forecasting Science supported by the GODAE OceanView Coastal Oceans and Shelf Seas Task Team (COSS-TT)


An observing system in the Black Sea combining remote sensing data such as sea level anomalies from altimetry, sea surface temperature from satellite radiometer and data from Argo floats has been analyzed with the aim to quantify the contribution of different information sources when reconstructing the ocean state. The main research questions are: (1) do Argo float measurements substantially impact the quality of estimates, (2) what is the dependence of this quality upon the data and sampling used, and (3) are there specific Black Sea issues? Numerical model output and statistical analysis were used for this purpose. It has been demonstrated that the statistical method performs in a consistent way reproducing known geophysical patterns. Maximum footprints of sea level, salinity and temperature were illustrated, most of them clearly connected with specific thermohaline conditions and the general circulation. Reduced analysis capabilities were identified as associated with a low level of dynamical coupling between the shelf and the open ocean, mesoscale dynamics and representation of diapycnic processes in the models. The accuracy of Argo pressure measurements appeared very important to resolve the extremely sharp stratification in the upper layers. The present-day number of Argo floats operating in the Black Sea of about 10, seems optimal for operational purposes.


Observation system evaluation Observation system simulation experiment Profiling float data Ocean state reconstruction 



We are grateful to P.Y. Le Traon and S. Le Reste for the help to more correctly address the pressure errors. We thank the three anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments. The authors acknowledge the support of the collaborative project ’Euro-Argo Improvements for the GMES Marine Service’ (E-AIMS) funded by the European Union (grant agreement number 312642). The Argo float data were collected and made freely available by the international Argo project and the national programs that contribute to it.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sebastian Grayek
    • 1
    Email author
  • Emil V. Stanev
    • 1
  • Johannes Schulz-Stellenfleth
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Coastal Research, Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht Centre for Materials and Coastal ResearchGeesthachtGermany

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