Physical Oceanography, Vol. 18, No. 2, 2008
EXPERIMENTAL AND FIELD RESEARCH
ANALYSIS OF STATE OF THE CARBONATE SYSTEM OF WATERS AND
VARIATIONS OF THE CONTENT OF ORGANIC CARBON IN BOTTOM
SEDIMENTS OF THE SEVASTOPOL BAY IN 1998–2005
O. G. Ignat’eva, E. I. Ovsyanyi, A. S. Romanov, S. K. Konovalov,
and N. A. Orekhova
On the basis of the experimental data accumulated in 1998–2005, we analyzed the space and
time variations of the carbonate system of waters and the content of organic carbon in bottom se-
diments of the Sevastopol Bay.
The intensity of gas exchange through the water–atmosphere in-
terface was quantitatively estimated.
It was shown that the partial pressure of carbon dioxide
in waters of the bay became much higher for the period of observations.
changes were observed in summer.
They were especially pronounced for the bottom layer of wa-
For the entire period of observations, the invasion of carbon dioxide
in the major part of the bay, and the content of organic carbon in the bottom sediments increased.
The ability of waters in the bay to absorb
is explained by the synthesis of organic sub-
stances, which becomes possible due to the presence of the equivalent load of nutrients.
For the last two centuries, the economic activity of the mankind was mainly based on the extensive
utilization of natural resources. As a result, the existing balance between correlated natural processes was
violated. Thus, for the last
the concentration of
in the atmosphere became higher (as compared
with the preindustrial level) by
30%. As a result, its partial pressure increased from
the open part of the oceans, the elevation of the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide resulted in minor
changes in the state of the carbonate system. At the same time, a decrease in the pH values and a significant
growth of the amount of dissolved carbon dioxide were detected for the coastal regions and in waters of high
latitudes [2–6]. Numerous researchers believe that, as a result of these processes, the ocean will lose its ability to
from the atmosphere and may even turn into a source of
for the atmosphere.
At the same time, as indicated in , the inflow of phosphorus into the ocean is now four times higher than
in the preindustrial period and the nitrogen load has doubled for the same period. In [8, 9], it is shown that the
inflow of phosphorus into the ocean is about twice higher than in the preindustrial period. Thus, it was assumed
that the biological productivity of seas and oceans significantly increased. This, in turn, should lead to changes
in the natural dynamic balance of
in the ocean–atmosphere system.
At present, the state and the variability of the carbonate system, the directions and intensity of the fluxes of
carbon dioxide, and the accumulation of organic carbon, i.e., the processes of high significance for the investiga-
Marine Hydrophysical Institute, Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, Sevastopol, Ukraine.
Translated from Morskoi Gidrofizicheskii Zhurnal, No.
57–67, March–April, 2008. Original article submitted May 22, 2006;
revision submitted October 20, 2006.
96 0928-5105/08/1802–0096 © 2008 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.