Fronts in the Kattegat: The hydrodynamic regulating factor for biology
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The recurrence since 1981 of oxygen depletion in the southern part of the Kattegat (the transition area between the Baltic Sea and the North Sea) initiated an interdisciplinary project in biological oceanography. More than 100 years of observations from light-vessels in the region are at our disposal for a hydrographic description. Nevertheless, it was first after the analysis of satellite images and the intensive in situ measurements that the great importance of the complicated front-dynamics in the region was appreciated. A phenomenological description of the interaction between the major physical phenomena encountered in the southern Kattegat such as fronts, leakage (detrainment), baroclinic circulation, wind mixing, entrainment, upwelling, and intrusions is given. The importance of these estuarine events to phytoplankton production is discussed. The importance of the hitherto unnoticed subsurface phytoplankton productions in connection with intrusions at the primary halocline is underlined.
KeywordsWesterly Wind Euphotic Zone Phytoplankton Production Buoyancy Flux Great Belt
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