ProcEss studies at the Air-sEa Interface after dust deposition in the MEditerranean sea

The general objective of the PEACETIME cruise is to study the fundamental processes and their interactions at the ocean–atmosphere interface, occurring after atmospheric deposition (especially Saharan dust) in the Mediterranean Sea, and how these processes impact the functioning of the pelagic ecosystem.

During the proposed 32 days cruise in the western and central Mediterranean Sea 10 May – 10 June 2017, we studied the impact of atmospheric deposition on the cycles of chemical elements, on marine biogeochemical processes and fluxes, on marine aerosols emission and how ongoing changes will impact the functioning of Mediterranean Sea communities in the future.

The cruise was designed to explore a variety of oligotrophic regimes. Combining in situ observations both in the atmosphere and the ocean, and in situ and minicosm-based on-board process studies, the 40 embarking scientists from atmosphere and ocean sciences characterized the chemical, biological and physical/optical properties of both the atmosphere and the sea-surface microlayer, mixed layer and deeper waters.

The PEACETIME strategy (season and cruise track) associated to a combination of dust transport forecasting tools and near real-time satellite remote sensing was designed to maximize the probability to catch a Saharan dust deposition event in a stratified water column in order to follow the associated processes in-situ. This was achieved at the FAST station south of the Balearic Islands.

This coordinated multidisciplinary effort will allow us to fill the current weaknesses/lacks in our knowledge of atmospheric deposition impact in the ocean and feedbacks to the atmosphere in such oligotrophic systems.

Data Access