Salinity and its variability in the Lagoon of Venice, 2000–2009

  • Alberto Zirino | azirino@ucsd.edu Integrative Oceanography Division, Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Coastal Environments, INC., La Jolla, CA, United States.
  • Hany Elwany Integrative Oceanography Division, Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Coastal Environments, INC., La Jolla, CA, United States.
  • Carlos Neira Integrative Oceanography Division, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA, United States.
  • Francesco Maicu Institute of Marine Science, National Research Council (ISMAR-CNR), Venice, Italy.
  • Guillermo Mendoza Integrative Oceanography Division, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA, United States.
  • Lisa A. Levin Integrative Oceanography Division, Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA, United States.

Abstract

Yearly averages computed from monthly and bimonthly salinity data collected between 2000 and 2009 from 13 broadly spaced stations in the Venice Lagoon were analysed in view of 30 min data collected semi-continuously during 2009 at nine similarly located stations. Data from all stations and all years indicate that, based on yearly averages, the lagoon may be divided along its major (long) axis into three areas: 1) a northern, freshwater impacted area (S = 32 PSU of low, tidally-caused, variability, and 3) an intermediate zone. Salinity changes are closely associated with rainfall events, and the incoming freshwater is consistently distributed throughout the lagoon by tidal action. Much variability is simply a result of the forward and backward motion of the tides and is not caused by a salinity change in the water itself. The consistency of the 2000–2009 data and the historical (to 1961) watershed record support the hypothesis that the Venice Lagoon has been and is currently at steady-state with respect to its salinity distribution. As such, it is conducive to the development of (at least) three separate ecosystems.

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Published
2014-04-04
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Keywords:
Venice Lagoon, salinity, steady-state
Statistics
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How to Cite
Zirino, A., Elwany, H., Neira, C., Maicu, F., Mendoza, G., & Levin, L. A. (2014). Salinity and its variability in the Lagoon of Venice, 2000–2009. Advances in Oceanography and Limnology, 5(1), 41-59. https://doi.org/10.4081/aiol.2014.5350