Articles | Volume 7, issue 11
Biogeosciences, 7, 3869–3878, 2010
Biogeosciences, 7, 3869–3878, 2010

  26 Nov 2010

26 Nov 2010

Seasonal and long-term changes in pH in the Dutch coastal zone

P. Provoost1, S. van Heuven2, K. Soetaert1, R. W. P. M. Laane3, and J. J. Middelburg1,4 P. Provoost et al.
  • 1Netherlands Institute for Ecology (NIOO-KNAW), Centre for Estuarine and Marine Ecology, P.O. Box 140, 4400 AC Yerseke, The Netherlands
  • 2Groningen University, Department of Ocean Ecosystems, P.O. Box 14, 9750 AA Haren, The Netherlands
  • 3Deltares, P.O. Box 177, 2600 MH Delft, The Netherlands
  • 4Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80.021, 3508 TA Utrecht, The Netherlands

Abstract. Recent observations and modelling studies suggest that biogeochemical changes can mask atmospheric CO2-induced pH decreases. Data collected by the Dutch monitoring authorities in different coastal systems (North Sea, Wadden Sea, Ems-Dollard, Eastern Scheldt and Scheldt estuary) since 1975 provide an excellent opportunity to test whether this is the case in the Dutch coastal zone. The time-series were analysed using Multi-Resolution Analysis (MRA) which resulted in the identification of system-dependent patterns on both seasonal and intra-annual time scales. The observed rates of pH change greatly exceed those expected from enhanced CO2 uptake, thus suggesting that other biogeochemical processes, possibly related to changes in nutrient loading, can play a dominant role in ocean acidification.

Final-revised paper