Estuaries and Coasts

, Volume 35, Issue 6, pp 1530–1550 | Cite as

Numerical Modeling of the Long-Term Transport, Dispersion, and Accumulation of Black Sea Pollutants into the North Aegean Coastal Waters

  • Kyriakos I. KopasakisEmail author
  • Anastasios N. Georgoulas
  • Panagiotis B. Angelidis
  • Nikolaos E. Kotsovinos


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.


North 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.


  1. Alper, Ö., A. Ílhan Or, and B. Özbaş. 2006. Investigation of transit maritime traffic in the strait of Istanbul through simulation modeling and scenario analysis. International Journal of Simulation–Systems Science & Technology 7: 1–9. Available from: Scholar
  2. Androulidakis, Y., and V. Kourafalou. 2011. Evolution of a buoyant outflow in the presence of complex topography: the Dardanelles plume (North Aegean Sea). Journal of Geophysical Research 116: 24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Birpinar, M.E., Talu Gonca, F., Gönül, S., Gülbey, M. 2006. The effect of dense maritime traffic on the Bosphorus Strait and Marmara Sea Pollution. Conference on Water observation and Information System for Decision Support, BALWOIS 2006, Ohrid, Republic of Macedonia, pp. 1–11.Google Scholar
  4. Blain, C.A., M.K. Cambazoglu, and V.H. Kourafalou. 2009. Modeling the Dardanelles Strait outflow plume using a coupled model system. Biloxi: Conference Proceeding of Marine Technology for Our Future: Global and Local Challenges.Google Scholar
  5. Evangeliou, N., H. Florou, P. Bokoros, and M. Scoullos. 2009. Temporal and spatial distribution of 137Cs in Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Horizontal and vertical dispersion in two regions. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 100: 626–636.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, Monitoring, Forecasting and Information System for the Greek Seas, 2010, Data base of water temperature and salinity, HF Remote Sensing—the CORI system, Available from:
  7. Hodges, B., Dallimore, C. 2010a. ELCOM User Manual, CWR, University of Western Australia.Google Scholar
  8. Hodges, B., Dallimore, C. 2010b. ELCOM Science Manual, CWR, University of Western Australia.Google Scholar
  9. Ignatiades, L. 2005. Scaling the trophic status of the Aegean Sea, Eastern Mediterranean. Journal of Sea Research 54: 51–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Ignatiades, L., S. Psarra, V. Zervakis, K. Pagou, E. Souvermezoglou, G. Assimakopoulou, et al. 2002. Phytoplankton size-based dynamics in the Aegean Sea (Eastern Mediterranean). Journal of Marine Systems 36: 11–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Imberger, J., and J. Patterson. 1990. Physical limnology. Advances in Applied Mechanics 27: 303–475.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Isari, S., A. Ramfos, S. Somarakis, C. Koutsikopoulos, A. Kallianiotis, and N. Fragopoulu. 2006. Mesozooplankton distribution in relation to hydrology of the north-eastern Aegean Sea, Eastern Mediterranean. Journal of Plankton Research 28: 241–255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Kanarska, Y., and V. Maderich. 2008. Modelling of seasonal exchange flows through the Dardanelles Strait. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 79: 449–458.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kontoyiannis, H., V.H. Kourafalou, and V. Papadopoulos. 2003. The seasonal characteristics of the hydrology and circulation in the northwest Aegean Sea (Eastern Mediterranean): observations and modeling. Jourrnal of Geophysical Research 108: 18.1–18.23.Google Scholar
  15. Korres, G., A. Lascaratos, E. Hatziapostolou, and P. Katsafados. 2002. Towards an ocean forecasting system for the Aegean Sea. Journal of Atmospheric & Ocean Science 8: 191–218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Koukouras, A., E. Voultsiadou-Koukouras, and M. Kattoulas. 1984. Benthic bionomy of the North Aegean Sea. I. Physico-chemical characteristics of the Strymonikos Gulf. Thalassia Jugoslavica 20: 53–72.Google Scholar
  17. Kourafalou, V.H., and K. Barbopoulos. 2003. High resolution simulations on the North Aegean Sea seasonal circulation. Annales Geophysicae 21: 251–265.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Ludwig, W., E. Dumont, M. Meybeck, and S. Heussner. 2009. River discharges of water and nutrients to the Mediterranean and Black Sea: major drivers for ecosystem changes during past and future decades? Progress in Oceanography 80: 199–217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Olson, D.B., V.H. Kourafalou, W.E. Johns, G. Samuels, and M. Veneziani. 2006. Aegean surface circulation from a satellite-tracked drifter array. Journal of Physical Oceanography 37: 1898–1917.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Sylaios, G., E. Koutrakis, and A. Kallianiotis. 2006. Hydrographic variability, nutrient distribution and water mass dynamics in Strymonikos Gulf (Northern Greece). Continental Shelf Research 26: 217–235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Tzali, M., S. Sofianos, A. Mantziafou, and N. Skliris. 2010. Modelling the impact of Black Sea water inflow on the North Aegean Sea hydrodynamics. Ocean Dynamics 60: 585–596.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Unluata, U., T. Oguz, M.A. Latif, and E. Ozsou. 1990. On the physical oceanography of the Turkish straits. In The physical oceanography of sea straits, ed. L.J. Pratt, 25–60. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Zaitsev, Y., and V. Mamaev. 1997. Marine biology diversity in the Black Sea—a study of change and decline, Black Sea Environmental Series, Volume 3, 208. New York: United Nations.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kyriakos I. Kopasakis
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anastasios N. Georgoulas
    • 1
  • Panagiotis B. Angelidis
    • 1
  • Nikolaos E. Kotsovinos
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Hydraulics and Hydraulic Structures, Department of Civil EngineeringDemocritus University of ThraceXanthiGreece

Personalised recommendations