Table of Contents
ISRN Oceanography
Volume 2013, Article ID 568487, 9 pages
Research Article

Spatial Heterogeneity of Artificial Reefs Functioning according to Wind-Induced Lagrangian Circulation

1Earth and Planetary Sciences, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA
2Mediterranean Institute of Oceanography, UMR 7294 CNRS and Aix-Marseille University, Campus of Luminy, 13288 Marseille, France

Received 15 November 2012; Accepted 1 January 2013

Academic Editors: A. Bracco and S. Focardi

Copyright © 2013 Marie-Aude Pradal and Bertrand Millet. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In the scope of the program “Récifs Prado” for artificial reef immersion in the bay of Marseilles (southern France), we adapted the fine resolution (100 m) of the 3D numerical model POM (Princeton Ocean Model) to compute the typical patterns of the wind induced circulation within the bay. In addition, we derived from those results the Lagrangian trajectories of planktonic particles drifting over periods of 3 days, both from natural habitats to colonize the reefs, and inversely from the reefs to enrich peripheral ecosystems. Results emphasized the high spatial heterogeneity of the reefs functioning at short scales. First, reefs were submitted to a general southward particle flux, being colonized from the northern bay and then impacting the southern bay 50% and 40% of the time, respectively. Second, adjacent reefs frequently showed contrasted impacts, with fluxes simultaneously oriented offshore or inshore, in opposite directions. Third, at the top of reefs particles were released both southward and northward 32% and 8.6% of the time, respectively; when at the bottom of reefs particles were only released southward 40% of the time.