Sea level changes along the Turkish coasts of the Black Sea, the Aegean Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean

ALPAR Ş. B., Doğan E., Yüce H., Altıok H.

MEDITERRANEAN MARINE SCIENCE, vol.1, no.1, pp.141-156, 2000 (SCI-Expanded)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 1 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2000
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Page Numbers: pp.141-156
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes



Short, tidal, subtidal, seasonal, secular sea-level variations, sea-level differences and interactions between the basins have been studied based on the data collected at the some permanent and temporary tide gauges located along the Turkish coasts, mostly along the Straits connecting the Marmara Sea to outer seas. Even though the deficiency of sufficient information prevented us to reach the desired results, many pre-existed studies have been improved. 
Short-period oscillations were clearly identified along the Turkish Strait System and related to their natural periods. The tidal amplitudes are low along the Turkish coasts, except northern Aegean and eastern Mediterranean. The stability of harmonic constants of Samsun and Antalya were examined and most of the long period constituents were found to be unstable. Even the Marmara Sea is not affected from the tidal oscillations of Black and Aegean seas, some interactions in low frequency band have been detected. Subtidal sea level fluctuations (3-14 day) have relations with the large-scale cyclic atmospheric patterns passing over the Turkish Straits System. Short-term effects of wind on sea level are evident.
Seasonal sea-level fluctuations along the Turkish Straits System are in accord with Black Sea's hydrological cycle. The differential range of the monthly mean sea levels between Black Sea and the Marmara Sea is highly variable; high during spring and early summer and low during fall and winter.
On the average, there is a pronounced sea-level difference (55 cm) along the Turkish Straits System. However, the slope is nonlinear, being much steeper in the Strait of Istanbul. This barotrophic pressure difference is one of the most important factors causing the two-layer flow through the system. The topography and hydrodynamics of the straits, the dominant wind systems and their seasonal variations make this flow more complicated. 
For secular sea level changes, a rise of 3.2 mm/a was computed for Karsiyaka (1935-71) and a steady trend (-0.4 mm /a) has been observed for annual sea levels at Antalya (1935-77). The decreasing trend (-6.9 mm/a) at Samsun, is contrary to the secular rising trend of the Black Sea probably because of its rather short monitoring period (1963-77).