Decadal variation in turbidity in the western Wadden Sea as derived from corrected Secchi disk readings.

C.J.M Philippart, M.S. Salama, J.C. Kromkamp, H.J. van der Woerd, A.F. Zuur, G.C. Cadée

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    The Wadden Sea has undergone many changes of which some (e.g., seagrass disappearance, dredging activities) are thought to have affected the concentrations of suspended particulate matter (SPM) in these waters. Results of previous analyses of long-term variation and trends in SPM are, however, possibly biased by the fact that the data underlying these trends were not corrected for methodological changes in time. In this paper we analyze the variability of Secchi disk measurements recorded at one location in the westernmost part of the Wadden Sea during almost four decades (from 1974 to 2010). The Secchi readings were corrected for varying environmental conditions (solar zenith angle, solar irradiance and sea surface conditions) at the time of observation and then converted to a turbidity proxy that measures the attenuation of light due to suspended and dissolved materials in the water column. We tested a series of hypotheses to describe the seasonal and long-term variations of this turbidity proxy. The best statistical model assumed one common seasonal pattern within the study period and a strong variation in turbidity over the years without any apparent long-term increase or decrease in time (n=1361; r
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)67-79
    Number of pages13
    JournalJournal of sea research
    Early online date25 Jul 2012
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


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