Against a background of extensive multi-disciplinary oceanographic investigations over a number of years, together with the long-term establishment of a Society and Institute, extensive information is available from studies undertaken in the estuarine and coastal waters of the Basque Country.

The present authors gained access to unpublished literature and reports which, together with a synthesis of internationally-refereed papers, provide a series of scientific overviews of particular subject areas. Teams of researchers (from Basque Institutes and Universities) combine to present the present 'state of knowledge', within a global context, of processes ranging from sub-seabed to air-sea interaction - incorporating data on the associated biology (including fisheries) and pollutant sources and levels. The latter are compared with regional, national and European legislation. The volume is divided into various sections: Introduction; Geography and Oceanography; Chemical Oceanography and Water Quality; Sediment Characteristics, Quality and Chemistry; Biomonitoring; Communities and Ecology; and Overall Assessment.

The topics covered include: an historical review of marine research; the impact of human activities, during past centuries; geology, geomorphology and sediments; climate and meteorology; marine dynamics; hydrography; water mass characteristics; contaminants in the waters; microbiological quality; sedimentological characteristics; contaminants in sediments; biomonitoring of heavy metals and organic components, at tissue organism level and using cellular and molecular biomarkers; bacterioplankton and phytoplankton communities; zooplankton communities; benthic communities; seabirds; biodiversity and conservation; recovery of benthic communities; the polluted systems; and assessment of human impacts. On the basis of these syntheses, future challenges for marine research in the Basque Country are identified,


Academics, graduate students, researchers and legislators in oceanography and marine sciences.

Table of Contents

Preface (Á. Borja, M. Collins). Acknowledgements. Acronyms. Section I. Introduction. 1. Marine research in the Basque Country: an historical perspective (A. Rallo, Á. Borja). 1.1. Introduction: the heroic times. 1.2. The beginning of the scientific studies: from the 17th to the first half of the 20th century. 1.3. The growth in knowledge and the holistic approach: from the 1960s to the 1980s. References. 2. Human activities along the Basque coast during the last two centuries: geological perspective of recent anthropogenic impact on the coast and its environmental consequences (A. Cearreta, M.J. Irabien, A. Pascual). 2.1. Geomorphological setting and historical background. 2.2. Physical destruction. 2.3. Chemical transformation. 2.4. Environmental regeneration. References. Section II. Geography and Oceanography. 3. Geology and palaeoceanography (A. Pascual et al.). 3.1. Introduction: geological location of the Basque-Cantabrian Basin. 3.2. Morphology. 3.3. Geotectonic evolution: the opening of the Bay of Biscay. 3.4. Tectonics: deforming structures. 3.5. Evolution of the Bay of Biscay: palaeoceanography. 3.6. Natural resources (gas, oil) on the continental shelf. References. 4. Climate and meteorology, variability and its influence on the ocean ((J.I. Usabiaga et al.). 4.1. Introduction. 4.2. Climatic classification. 4.3. Climatology. 4.4. Special atmospheric events over the area. 4.5. Relationships between ocean and atmosphere. 4.6. Interannual variability of climate. References. 5. Sediment supply, transport and deposi


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© 2004
Elsevier Science
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About the editors

A. Borja

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Oceanography, AZTI, Pasaia, Spain

M. Collins

Affiliations and Expertise

School of Ocean and Earth Sciences, University of Southampton, UK


@qu: "It should be welcomed as a textbook by environmental managers who want to develop their understanding of the marine environment. It will certainly reach a large number of graduate students who seek tips on methods and scientific approach in their master and doctoral programs. I do not hesitate to give this splendid book my enthusiastic recommendation." @source: JOURNAL OF PLANKTON RESEARCH, 2005 @qu: "Undoubtedly it will become the reference book and a cornerstone in the study of the marine environment in the Basque Country." @source: SCIENTIA MARINA, 2005 @qu: "a highly professional volume which has elevated this interesting section of coast to the ranks of coastline which are now fairly well known and understood." @source: MARINE POLLUTION BULLETIN, 2005