Meereswissenschaftliche Berichte No 19 1996 - Marine Science Reports No 19 1996
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GOBEX - Summary Report

Hagen, Eberhard

Abstract. The Gotland Basin Experiment (GOBEX) was an international, multidisciplinary study of all riparian countries of the Baltic Sea during 1994 - 1995. The planning phase was funded by the European Committee on Ocean and Polar Sciences (ECOPS), which is sponsored by the European Science Foundation (ESF) and the Commission of the European Community (CEC). The GOBEX activities were considered as a preparation for the investigations planned for the MAST-III period (1996 - 1999). The German contributions were funded by the "Kultusministerium des Landes Mecklenburg-Vorpommern" under contract no. 0710, MG 04, 68101-05. Several workshops elucidated the main objectives for joint efforts. All scheduled field studies were to be concentrated in the eastern Gotland Basin. It was recommended that the positions of most hydrographic stations should coincide with those of the Baltic Year (BY) programme, which was carried out in 1969 - 1970. The GOBEX-area under investigation is shown in Fig.1. The location of the two hydrographic standard transects is indicated as well as positions of three current meter moorings (GO1, GO2, GO3). The principal aim of the project was a better understanding of the water exchange processes between coastal areas and the Eastern Gotland Basin and their consequences for the ecosystem of the "Baltic Proper". These efforts included, inter alia, the quantification of various past and present fluxes between different no-living and living compartments, different ecological zonation and food webs. All this required the coordination of all national reseach activities. Four working groups were formed: Meso-scale dynamics; Benthic processes; Data management - hydrography/geology; History of the Baltic Proper. They concentrated their efforts on the following topics: Air-Sea Exchange; Baltic Sea - North Sea Water exchange and General Circulation; Inshore and Coastline Processes; Coastal-Basin Interactions; Food Web Dynamics and Benthic-Pelagic Coupling; Data Management and Ecosystem Analysis; Processes of Anthropogenic Influence; Paleoenvironment Such an approach involves all marine disciplines and comprises different temporal and spatial scales. For example, sedimentation processes ob basin-scale nature are influenced by anomalies in deep water circulation, associated water-mass transformation, and related mixing and exchange processes, all of which are based on different physical mechanisms. A better understanding of these processes is needed for the development of an integrated model describing these relationships in a proper way. The GOBEX programme only provided a first step. The management of the national hydrographic data was co-ordinated by the ICES in Copenhagen/Denmark. Figure 2 depicts the time table of all cruise activities. Time windows of moored current measurements are included. Their logistics were co-ordinated by the Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemuende (IOW)/Germany. Relevant news were monthly/bi-monthly distributed by the GOBEX-Newsletter. This provided a fast presentation of preliminary results and helped in the co-ordination of cruise logistics, data exchange, device calibration procedures, guest researchers, and etc. This summary report contains contributions, which were published in different issues of the Newsletter. Several original papers are included in order to provide the GOBEX-community with a compact overview of the outcomes. Because field measurements play a crucial role for all marine disciplines, we hope our summary is useful for all interested colleagues. At present, some of our GOBEX activities continue in the European project 'Baltic Sea System Study' (BASYS) during the period covering three years (1996 - 1999). Thanks are due to all contributors and we especially like to acknowledge all crews, officers, and captains of participating research vessels.


Eberhard Hagen (Editor): GOBEX - Summary Report. Meereswiss. Ber., Warnemünde, 19 (1996), doi:10.12754/msr-1996-0019


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