EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Physicochemical properties of a marine lake in the central Adriatic (Lake Rogoznica): interaction with the atmosphere, the sea and the surrounding karst

Iva Dominović, Marija Marguš, Sunčana Geček, Tatjana Bakran-Petricioli, Donat Petricioli, Mathieu Dutour Sikirić, and Irena Ciglenečki
Iva Dominović et al.
  • Ruđer Bošković Institute, Division for Marine and Environmental Research, Zagreb, Croatia

Lake Rogoznica (also known as "Dragon's Eye") is a karstic, marine lake on the Gradina peninsula located at the Adriatic coast at 43° 32' N and 15° 58' E. Most of the time the lake is stratified, with an upper oxic layer, an anoxic bottom layer, and a chemocline in between. Every few years the stratification suddenly breaks down and the entire water column becomes mixed, anoxic, and euxinic, with HS- presence throughout the water column. This leads to mass mortality of aerobic populations in the lake, which require long periods of time without mixing to recover. Rogoznica residents confirmed that the sudden overturning of layers had been occurring even before continuous research began in 1992, but also that it used to happen less frequently. In the last 30 years, five such events of complete anoxia have been recorded: in September 1997, October 2011, October 2016, October 2020, and October 2021. As the sudden mixing now occurs year after year, the lake's ecosystem does not have nearly enough time to recover. Previous work has indicated that the main trigger for the abrupt mixing is a sudden drop in surface temperature caused by an overpassing low-pressure system. Nevertheless, the process of overturning and sudden release of bottom-layer sulfides is a very delicate one, and determining other biological, physical, and chemical triggers is an important question that remains to be answered. Another key question is whether the increase in the overturn frequency is solely a part of the natural life cycle of the lake, a result of the changing climate with more extreme weather events, or a more direct consequence of human activities in the area.

Comparison of the most recent water level measurements from June 2021 with those from 2013 indicate that the tidal signal in the lake requires a somewhat different analytical approach than the standard ocean tidal analysis procedure. Moreover, measurements at the boundaries of the lake show that the water entering the lake from the karst at high tide is not only colder but also has a lower salinity. Additionally, in this work we present new insights into the physicochemical properties of the lake's water column (σT-stratification, dissolved oxygen concentration) and the direct influence of atmospheric wet deposition on the lake's surface layer.

How to cite: Dominović, I., Marguš, M., Geček, S., Bakran-Petricioli, T., Petricioli, D., Dutour Sikirić, M., and Ciglenečki, I.: Physicochemical properties of a marine lake in the central Adriatic (Lake Rogoznica): interaction with the atmosphere, the sea and the surrounding karst, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-492,, 2022.


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