Distribution of Suspended Particulate Matter in the Caspian Sea

M. D. Kravchishina, A. A. Klyuvitkin, V. N. Lukashin, N. V. Politova,
A. N. Novigatsky, and A. P. Lisitsyn

The distribution of suspended particulate matter (SPM) and chlorophyll a in the Caspian Sea water column from April to November in 2008–2016 is analyzed. It is shown that the spatio- temporal variability of SPM concentration is defined by its sources, especially by the autochthonous (primary production) and allochthonous (particulate river runoff, aerosols) components. The effect of marginal filters of rivers on the volume of coming allochthonous SPM is considered. It is revealed that chlorophyll a is a reliable marker of the autochthonous component of SPM and biogenic sedimentation conditions. The stable vertical stratification defines the distribution of allochthonous and autochthonous SPM in the water column. Vertical profiles of these SPM components in the active layer (its thickness is usually up to ~60 m, more rarely to ~100 m) of the sea are similar in April and October–November and differ much in May–September.

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