About the Monitoring Network Flemish Banks
The Monitoring Network Flemish Banks (Meetnet Vlaamse Banken) was set up for the acquisition of real-time oceanographical and meteorological data along the Belgian coast and on the Belgian continental shelf.
- The oceanographic parameters monitored are waves, tidal height, current and water temperature.
- The meteorological parameters are wind, air pressure, air temperature and rainfall.
The data resulting from the Monitoring Network are primarily intended for the daily redaction of a hydro-meteo information bulletin. These bulletins are forecasts of tidal heights, waves, wind and visibility along the Belgian coast and in the shipping lane to the coastal harbours of the Westerschelde.
The real-time data and forecast messages are necessary for:
- The operation of the 'hydro-meteo-system' for the shipping lane leading to the Westerschelde. The aim of this system is to provide the nautical authorities with accurate data about actual and expected water-level and wave climate in this channel, in order to assist the admission of deep-draught vessels.
- The Storm Surge Warning Service, which is a responsibility of the Ministry of the Flemish Community.
- The monitoring of coastal protection activities, harbour activities, dredging, hydrographical surveys, salvage of wrecks, etc.
The historical data are stored in a database, which provides the necessary input for:
- The management of coastal protection works.
- The more accurate dredging works thanks to a better understanding of the tidal flow in the navigation channels.
- The production of nautical publications such as sea charts, tidal charts, current atlasses etc.
The Network is sponsored by the Government of Flanders, and set up and maintained by the Coastal Division of the Agency for Maritime and Coastal Services (MDK). Operations are supervised by ir G. Dumon of the Hydro-meteo Cell. The hydro-meteo Cell is also responsible for quality control; this is done about once a month.
The data are turned into forecasts at the Oceanographical Meteorological Station in Zeebrugge, a collaboration between MDK-Coastal Division and the Royal Meteorological Institute (KMI), Belgium. The meteorological station is managed by ir David Dehenauw. The
weather forecasts are available through the web site of the MDK-Coastal Devision (forecasts are only available in the Dutch version of the site), or through links on our web site.
VLIZ is responsible for the re-distribution of the data:
- Semi-operational data can be consulted on the web site, as a graph. Data are downloaded from the MDK server every 30 minutes, and are in principle immediately available. Note that, since these data are semi-operational, they are not quality-controled.
- For older data, or to acquire data in tabular form, contact Francisco Hernandez.