In spring, the Mediterranean Sea, a well-stratified low-nutrient-low-chlorophyll region, receives atmospheric deposition by both desert dust from the Sahara and airborne particles from anthropogenic sources. Such deposition translates into a supply of new nutrients and trace metals for the surface waters that likely impact biogeochemical cycles. However, the relative impacts of the processes involved are still far from being assessed in situ. After summarizing the knowledge on dust deposition and its impact on the Mediterranean Sea biogeochemistry, we present in this context the objectives and strategy of the PEACETIME project and cruise. Atmospheric and marine in situ observations and process studies have been conducted in contrasted areas encountering different atmospheric deposition context, including a dust deposition event that our dedicated "fast-action" strategy allowed us to catch. Process studies also include artificial dust seeding experiments conducted on board in large tanks in three ecoregions of the open waters of the Mediterranean Sea for the first time. This paper summarizes the work performed at sea and the type of data acquired in the atmosphere, at the air-sea interface and in the water column. An overview of the results presented in papers of this special issue (and in some others published elsewhere) is presented..
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Earth-Surface Processes