Why the sea level is so low especially on the

Why the sea level is so low, especially on the Var coast Var matin

Usually submerged rocks that suddenly rise into the air. Archaeological remains that we usually visit with fins, masks and snorkels to be discovered … In recent days lovers of the Var coast have had enough to quench their thirst for original shots.

Images that, exceptionally, focus neither on the waves nor the horizon line, but on the shore.

Here the phenomenon of sea level drop is most clearly visible.

The blocks from Olbia to Almanarre, the lagoon from Brusc to Six-Fours or the solitary rock from Pin de Galle to Pradet reveal a “recession” that in fact affects the entire Mediterranean basin.

To be convinced of this, suffice it to see that the Algerian press on the other side of the sea is making the same observations… and that social networks are not left out.

15 to 25 cm below

Scientifically, it is the Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service of the Navy (SHOM) that best describes the situation.

Its tide gauges record the water level in real time (which fluctuates by around a foot per day depending on the low tide in the Mediterranean). The comparison with the foreseeable level is striking. “We see that the Toulon level has been 15 to 25 centimeters below the levels predicted by the models since February 9,” confirms SHOM, referring to the readings on its website.

The status in Nice is a bit older and dates from the end of January. Which contradicts those who conjure up the dramatic earthquake in Turkey as an explanation on social networks.

20 hectopascals too much

According to Météo France, the explanation is actually not to be found in the interior of the earth, but mainly in the sky.

“For the past two weeks there has been a powerful anticyclone in the western Mediterranean,” says Damien Griffaut, deputy head of the forecast and climatology service at Météo France.

That high pressure — 1,035 hectopascals, or 20 more than normal — he said would “stress” the sea…. and thus lower the level. For its part, Météo France estimates the average gradient in the Mediterranean to be 30 centimetres.

“A Remarkable Episode”

In Six-Fours, the sea never seemed so far away (Photo JP).

“Besides, the sea is calm. There isn’t much water displacement, and we don’t have ocean upwelling either. This means that the rivers that normally swell the sea near the shore currently have very low currents. So many elements that make the phenomenon particularly visible. We’re not on records, but we’re on a notable episode because it’s particularly long.”

For the forecaster, the situation could return to normal by the middle of next week.

A prognosis that SHOM doesn’t quite share. Its Brest-based services also evoke a documented “seasonal movement,” meaning global levels are highest in October and November, falling in January-February to reach their minimum in March. “It is mainly related to the expansion and contraction of surface waters according to their temperature,” assures SHOM, adding that this trend is reinforced by a strong current pushing the Mediterranean Sea towards the ocean in Gibraltar.