Submarine canyons act as a connection between coastal areas and the open sea, facilitating upwelling and downwelling events, and the exchange of nutrients and sediments between the shelf and the deep water masses. The effect of these nutrient-rich waters in coastal ecosystems is of high relevance in the oligotrophic Mediterranean Sea ecosystem. Fronts and eddies also influence the marine ecosystem through upwelling and downwelling dynamics, from the large scale to the submesoscale.
The influence of a submarine canyon on coastal ecosystem of the Bay of Calvi (Corsica, France) in the western Mediterranean Sea will be assessed
with a series of current meters and current profilers, in combination with temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen and turbidity data. The main goal is to assess, at different spatial scales (subesoscale to mesoscale) and temporal scales (hourly to interannual), the influence of hydrodynamic features like fronts, eddies, and deep-water intrusions into the marine ecosystem (e.g. phytoplankton blooms and other primary producers). Links and feedback from the large to the small scale will be studied using a combination of in situ data and remote sensed optical and infrared data. Particularly, the use of Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-3 data should improve our capacity to study the coastal ocean due to their high spatial and temporal resolution. The development and deployment of small satellites tailored to measure the coastal zones at very high spatial resolution, a field in full expansion nowadays, will open the door to a better understanding of these complex ecosystems. All these in situ and remote-sensed data will be integrated to gain a better understanding of the influence of the dynamics induced by submarine canyons on the health of the ecosystems. This project is financed by the FRS-FNRS of Belgium