Tidal and seasonal carbon and nutrient dynamics of the Guadalquivir estuary and the Bay of Cádiz (SW Iberian Peninsula)
To study the effects of the physical environment on carbon and nutrient cycle dynamics on the north-eastern shelf of the Gulf of Cádiz, changes in currents, tides, salinity, temperature, carbon system parameters (fugacity of CO 2 ( fCO 2), dissolved organic carbon, dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and pH) and other related parameters(dissolved oxygen, total dissolved nitrogen (TDN), nutrients and suspended particulate matter) were measured in transects across the Guadalquivir estuary and Bay of Cádiz mouths. The main objective of this study is to investigate the influence of these inner ecosystems on the carbon and nutrient distributions on the adjacent continental shelf. Three cruises were undertaken in June 2006, November 2006 and February 2007. During the whole study period, Guadalquivir estuary exported components at a rate of 3 Gmol of SiO 2, 4 Gmol of DIN, 3 Gmol of TDN, 31 Gmol of DOC and 604 Gmol of DIC per year. On the other hand, Bay of Cádiz imported 3 Gmol of SiO 2, 1 Gmol of DIN, 2 Gmol of TDN, 33 Gmol of DOC and 562 Gmol of DIC per year. Diurnal variability of fCO 2 could have a potentially important implication on the estimate of air–sea CO 2 fluxes. Tides influence velocity and transport of carbon and nutrients: we found statistically significant differences ( p < 0.0001, n = 220) between the flood tide (the mean velocity was 4.85 cm s –1) and the ebb tide (the mean velocity was −5.67 cm s –1). Biological activity and diurnal changes have also an important role on the carbon and nutrient dynamics. Seasonal carbon and nutrient variations were found. During June, both systems were exporting components to the adjacent continental shelf of the Gulf of Cádiz, whereas in February both systems were importing. Monthly studies should be undertaken to completely understand this dynamic system.