The Benthic Boundary Layer: geochemical and oceanographic data from the GEOSTAR-2 observatory

G. Etiope, P. Favali, J. L. Fuda, F. Italiano, M. Laubenstein, C. Millot, W. Plastino


Geochemical and oceanographic data, acquired throughout 6 months by the GEOSTAR-2 benthic observatory in southern Tyrrhenian Sea, evidenced ocean-lithosphere interactions in the 1900-m deep Benthic Boundary Layer (BBL), distinguishing two water masses with different origin and, possibly, benthic residence time. Gas concentration, helium isotopic ratios, radioactivity, temperature, salinity and vertical component of the current converged towards the indication of a BBL characterised by a colder and fresher western water (WW), which is episodically displaced by the cascading of the warmer and saltier Eastern Overflow Water (EOW). The benthic WW has higher concentration of geochemical tracers diffusing from the seafloor sediments. The data set shows the potential of long-term, continuous and multiparametric monitoring in providing unique information which cannot be acquired by traditional, short-term or single-sensor investigations.


geochemical data;oceanographic data;Benthic Boundary Layer

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Published by INGV, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - ISSN: 2037-416X