Numerical Modeling of the Long-Term Transport, Dispersion, and Accumulation of Black Sea Pollutants into the North Aegean Coastal Waters
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This study investigates the long-term capacity of the North Aegean coastal systems to transport and store conservative pollutants that originate from the Black Sea. Emphasis is placed on modeling the dispersion and accumulation of a passive tracer that represents a Black Sea pollutant (BSP) substance that continuously discharges from the Dardanelles exit into the North Aegean, for a long period of time (16 years). The effects of the Black Sea water (BSW) inflows, meteorological forcing, and seasonal stratification are assessed with a 3D hydrodynamic model (Estuary, Lake and Coastal Ocean Model), after validation with available field data. The salinity, water temperature, and discharge from the Dardanelles Strait are taken to be seasonally varied. According to the authors' best knowledge, the present paper constitutes the first numerical modeling attempt in the literature that apart from the long-term hydrodynamic characteristics that have also been studied in previous works, a suitable tracer is introduced in order to predict the long-term fate, distribution, and accumulation of pollutants that originate from the Black Sea into the North Aegean coastal regions. The overall results of the present investigation indicate that the BSP concentration is very high at the coastal waters of Thassos, Samothraki, and Limnos islands, as well as along the mainland coastal waters between Alexandroupolis and Strymonikos Gulf, during summer and autumn when strong water column stratification occurs. In general, the BSP concentration in the North Aegean surface waters reaches considerable high values (47–58 % of the initial pollutant concentration at Dardanelles inflow) within 16 years. Even for depths more than 500 m the BSP concentration is still remarkable, slightly increasing with time. The increase of the BSP concentration with respect to time at various depths (from free surface up to 750 m) is also investigated.
KeywordsNorth Aegean Black Sea pollutant Dardanelles Conservative tracer Transport Surface buoyant plume
The authors would like to express their gratitude to all the people who have helped for the production of the present paper. The authors would like to thank especially the Centre of Water Research (CWR) of the University of Western Australia and more specific the director of the CWR Professor Jorg Imberger as well as Dr. Clelia Luisa Marti and Dr. Chris Dallimore for their modeling assistance and support. The authors would also like to acknowledge the generous contribution of data by the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research.
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