Hydrographic Conditions Around Offshore Banks

Type: Report
Series: RO 33
Author: Philip Axe, Helma Lindow


This report details the results of an investigation into hydrographic and hydrochemical conditions over ten offshore banks around the coast of south Sweden. Four of these banks are situated in the Kattegat. The remainder lie in the southern and western Baltic Proper. The investigation included field sampling, where each bank was visited on one occasion, and the temperature and salinity structure mapped while the concentrations of nutrients were measured. These data were analysed, and results compared and complemented with predictions from operational numerical models (for currents and waves). The banks are areas with strong horizontal gradients in temperature and salinity. They influence the large scale circulation, steering mean currents through the deeper water, resulting in the mean currents over the banks being weak. The influence of short term wind events are significant however, with intense, short-lived currents occurring over the banks. Nutrient concentrations in the waters above the banks were very similar to those in the adjacent basins. Immediately over the bottom however, silicate concentrations were often higher than at similar depths away from the banks. Similarly, oxygen saturation immediately above the bottom was frequently lower than in mid-water at the same depth. In the Kattegat, large areas are at risk from seasonal oxygen deficiency. The shallow nature of the banks however often means that they escape the worst impacts.