Articles | Volume 18, issue 6
Research article
16 Nov 2011
Research article |  | 16 Nov 2011

Scaling properties of pH fluctuations in coastal waters of the English Channel: pH as a turbulent active scalar

S. B. Zongo and F. G. Schmitt

Abstract. We consider here pH and temperature fluctuations in marine waters, recorded at fixed points using high resolution automatic devices. We analyze time series coming from 4 monitoring stations located along French coast: one station is situated in the coastal area off Boulogne-sur-mer (Eastern English Channel) and 3 stations in the Bay of Seine. All these pH time series reveal large fluctuations at all scales similar to turbulent temperature fluctuations. We compare the pH and temperature time series through Fourier spectral analysis methods: spectra, compensated spectra, cospectra. We find good scaling properties of pH fluctuations, with power spectral slopes close to 1.5 for marine stations and 1.2 for the estuarine station. These analyses show that pH fluctuations in marine waters are strongly influenced by turbulent hydrodynamical transport, and may be considered as a turbulent active scalar.