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Analysis of riverine suspended particulate matter fluxes (Gulf of Lion, Mediterranean Sea) using a synergy of ocean color observations with a 3-D hydrodynamic sediment transport model

Abstract : The export of riverine suspended particulate matter (SPM) in the coastal ocean has major implications for the biogeochemical cycles. In the Mediterranean Sea (France), the Rhone River inputs of SPM into the Gulf of Lion (GoL) are highly variable in time, which severely impedes the assessment of SPM fluxes. The objectives of this study are (i) to investigate the prediction of the land-to-ocean flux of SPM using the complementarity (i.e., synergy) between a hydrodynamic sediment transport model and satellite observations, and (ii) to analyze the spatial distribution of the SPM export. An original approach that combines the MARS-3D model with satellite ocean color data is proposed. Satellite-derived SPM and light penetration depth are used to initialize MARS-3D and to validate its predictions. A sensitivity analysis is performed to quantify the impact of riverine SPM size composition and settling rate on the horizontal export of SPM. The best agreement between the model and the satellite in terms of SPM spatial distribution and export is obtained for two conditions: (i) when the relative proportion of ''heavy and fast'' settling particles significantly increases relative to the ''light and slow'' ones, and (ii) when the settling rate of heavy and light SPM increases by fivefold. The synergy between MARS-3D and the satellite data improved the SPM flux predictions by 48% near the Rhone River mouth. Our results corroborate the importance of implementing satellite observations within initialization procedures of ocean models since data assimilation techniques may fail for river floods showing strong seasonal variability.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01134156
Contributor : Vincent Le Fouest <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, April 14, 2021 - 5:12:18 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, April 14, 2021 - 5:12:48 PM

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Vincent Le Fouest, Malik Chami, Romaric Verney. Analysis of riverine suspended particulate matter fluxes (Gulf of Lion, Mediterranean Sea) using a synergy of ocean color observations with a 3-D hydrodynamic sediment transport model. Journal of Geophysical Research. Oceans, Wiley-Blackwell, 2015, 120, pp.10.1002/2014JC010098. ⟨10.1002/2014JC010098⟩. ⟨hal-01134156⟩

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