Nutrient transports in the Baltic Sea – results from a 30-year physical–biogeochemical reanalysis
Abstract. Long-term oxygen and nutrient transports in the Baltic Sea are reconstructed using the Swedish Coastal and Ocean Biogeochemical model (SCOBI) coupled to the Rossby Centre Ocean model (RCO). Two simulations with and without data assimilation covering the period 1970–1999 are carried out. Here, the
weakly coupled scheme with the Ensemble Optimal Interpolation (EnOI) method is adopted to assimilate observed profiles in the reanalysis system. The reanalysis shows considerable improvement in the simulation of both oxygen and nutrient concentrations relative to the free run. Further, the results suggest that the assimilation of biogeochemical observations has a significant effect on the simulation of the oxygen-dependent dynamics of biogeochemical cycles. From the reanalysis, nutrient transports between sub-basins, between the coastal zone and the open sea, and across latitudinal and longitudinal cross sections are calculated. Further, the spatial distributions of regions with nutrient import or export are examined. Our results emphasize the important role of the Baltic proper for the entire Baltic Sea, with large net transport (export minus import) of nutrients from the Baltic proper into the surrounding sub-basins (except the net phosphorus import from the Gulf of Riga and the net nitrogen import from the Gulf of Riga and Danish Straits). In agreement with previous studies, we found that the Bothnian Sea imports large amounts of phosphorus from the Baltic proper that are retained in this sub-basin. For the calculation of sub-basin budgets, the location of the lateral borders of the sub-basins is crucial, because net transports may change sign with the location of the border. Although the overall transport patterns resemble the results of previous studies, our calculated estimates differ in detail considerably.