Oceanografia fisica e chimica

Chemical Oceanography

ISMAR investigates the structure and dynamics of the ocean, how it propagates perturbations, transports properties (e.g. heat), materials, dissolved chemical constituents of seawater (such as nutrients, Dissolved Organic Carbon, Total Alkalinity, pH), dissolved gas (oxygen, CO2  which are strongly connected to the climate change) and particulate organic matter. ISMAR investigates the involvement of these materials in the chemical and biological processes affecting the water column (primary production, remineralisation of organic matter, eutrophication, hypoxia/anoxia, atmospheric CO2 uptake and ocean acidification) and on the marine biogeochemistry of key elements like carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, silicon and oxygen. A key aspect is understanding the interaction of the ocean, across its upper and lower boundary layers, with the atmosphere and the seafloor. The researches are carried out by combining (long and short-term) observational and modelling approaches. Ocean observations come from research cruises, moored instrumentations and remote sensing.

Continuous measurements of the ocean state in the Mediterranean Sea and in key regions of the Arctic and Antarctica are maintained, providing long-term time series that shed light on the role of the ocean in climate change including changing rates of deep water formation, evaporation and salt concentration and sea water carbonate system equilibria.

In particular, ISMAR studies:

  • the thermo-haline, optical and chemical properties of the water column in seas around Italy, in the Mediterranean and in the Arctic and Antarctic Oceans including chemical features of one-year fast sea-ice in the Ross Sea,
  • the nutrients and matter flux through specific sections of the Adriatic (Senigallia, Pomo/Pelagosa, Otranto), Ionian Sea and of the Sicily Channel,
  • the nutrient assimilation and primary productivity processes in the euphotic layer and respiration/mineralization processes of organic matter in the deep layers of the water column
  • the gas exchange between atmosphere and sea surface, estimating fluxes of oxygen, CO2 and other green-house gasses,
  • the  partitioning of the dissolved inorganic carbon system and its effects on the pH of the sea water,
  • carbon cycle dynamics in the Adriatic Sea from time-series studies of hypoxia and anoxia in the and including studies of the mucilage phenomena.


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