Physical Oceanography, Vol.
4, November, 2011 (Ukrainian Original No.
4, July–August, 2011)
MORPHOMETRIC CHARACTERISTICS AND RUGGEDNESS OF THE BOTTOM
TOPOGRAPHY IN THE NORTH PART OF THE BLACK SEA
A. I. Avdeev
and V. N. Belokopytov
On the basis of the data array of detailed echosounding surveys carried out from the research vessels of
the Marine Hydrophysical Institute of the Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences and other institu-
tions and the corresponding cartographic materials, we perform the numerical analyses of the mor-
phometric characteristics of the bottom topography of the northwest shelf of the Black Sea and the un-
derwater margin of the Crimea. We reveal the specific features of the main types of morphological
structures and analyze the values of the bottom slopes and the vertical and horizontal ruggednesses of
the bottom. The ruggedness of the bottom has a low-frequency character reflecting a noticeable smooth-
ness of the topography. The large regional structures of the surrounding land represented by the East-
European platform and the Crimean-Caucasian orogen directly affect the formation of topography in the
analyzed region. The agreement between the contemporary digital data arrays on the bottom topography
and the data of echosounding surveys in the Black Sea is estimated.
Keywords: Black Sea, bottom topography, bottom ruggedness, underwater canyons.
The exact data on the bottom topography and its morphometric characteristics is of high importance both
for the practical purposes (navigation, hydraulic engineering, and extraction of minerals) and for the scientific
investigations in the fields of oceanology, marine geology, and geophysics. The bottom topography, volume of
waters, and the morphometry of straits are very important oceanographic characteristics specifying, to a large
extent, the main features of the thermohaline structure and the circulation of waters in sea basins. The configu-
ration of the coastline, steepness of the continental slope, presence of underwater ridges and troughs affect the
direction and velocity of currents, as well as the locations and intensities of topogenic eddy formations and the
events of coastal upwelling. The morphometric characteristics and bottom topography of the Black Sea were
studied as a part of the general regional oceanographic descriptions in numerous works [1–6].
At present, despite the development of new methods of determination of depths (altimetric, gravimetric, and
optical), the echosounding performed by using various systems of echosounders remains the main method ap-
plied to get surveys of the underwater bottom topography. Depending on the functions of an echosounder, the
frequency of measurements varies from fractions of a second to several seconds, which enables us to get continu-
ous records of the profile of underwater bottom topography (or of the collection of profiles in the case of applica-
tion of multibeam echosounders).
Since 1964, the shipboard echosounders of the research vessels of the Marine Hydrophysical Institute of the
Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences are equipped with precise depth self-recorders.
Marine Hydrophysical Institute, Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, Sevastopol, Ukraine.
Corresponding author; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Translated from Morskoi Gidrofizicheskii Zhurnal, No.
43–63, July–August, 2011. Original article submitted March 25, 2010;
revision submitted July 28, 2010.
0928–5105/11/2104–0261 © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 261