CR 31:205-216 (2006)  -  doi:10.3354/cr031205

Vertical distribution of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in the Mediterranean Sea

C. Santinelli1,*, B. B. Manca2, G. P. Gasparini3, L. Nannicini1, A. Seritti1

1CNR, Istituto di Biofisica, Area della Ricerca di Pisa, Via Moruzzi 1, 56124 Pisa, Italy
2Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale – OGS, Borgo Grotta Gigante 42/c, 34010 Sgonico (Trieste), Italy
3CNR-ISMAR, Sezione di La Spezia, Forte S.Teresa, 19036 Pozzuolo di Lerici (La Spezia), Italy

ABSTRACT: Vertical profiles of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in different areas of the Mediterranean Sea were studied during 6 oceanographic surveys conducted between January 1999 and September 2001. The study areas were located at key points of water mass circulation of the entire Mediterranean basin. DOC showed similar behaviors at all hydrological stations, with highest values in surface waters, a minimum in the intermediate layers and slightly increasing values in deep waters. Important links were found between DOC distribution in the water column and hydrological structures. In particular, distinctive DOC concentrations were detected in the different water masses. This finding was attributed to the age, origin and route of each water mass.

KEY WORDS: DOC · Water masses · Mediterranean Sea

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