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Retention, transport and transformation of particular and dissolved material in water courses and surroundings as a function of hydraulics, geomorphology and biological structure

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Dutch title: Retentie, transport en transformatie van particulair en opgelost materiaal in waterloop en omgeving als functie van hydrolica, geomorfologie en biologische structuur
Period: January 2002 till December 2003
Status: Completed

Thesaurus term: Marine environment

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As a result of the Mina-plan II (Milieu Natuurplan Vlaanderen) - action 105, several ecosystem approach studies have started in different catchments, one of which is the Abeek project. The project started in the beginning of 2001, and covers the valley of the Abeek (tributary of the Meuse), located in the province of Limburg. The UIA (University of Antwerp) is the main partner in this project, further participates Kiwa Research and Consultancy (Nieuwegein, The Netherlands). For the VUB, the aim of this project is to study the groundwater system in this valley such that an indication can be given of the maximal potentials for the development and maintenance of nature conservation, considering different scenarios of nature and water resources management. By means of a detailed groundwater model essential information is gained on regional scale as well as on local scale. On a regional scale, the infiltration and discharge zones and their relation in time and scale will be simulated using the groundwater and particle tracking model. On a local scale, transect studies should give a qualitative description of desiccation and nutrient load effects on the ecosysteem. Installed piezometers will be used to calibrate the groundwater model and to obtain water quality estimates. The UIA will also analyse soil and vegetation composition along these transects. The VUB will model in detail the dynamics of the groundwater along these transects. The effect of different hydrological conditions in scenarios, assuming the implementation of different land use types, water management and nature restoration, are considered using the groundwater model. Relevant ecosystem parameters resulting from the modelling of the groundwater dynamics under these respective scenarios are then evaluated in order to describe the possible future vegetation types. The knowledge, which is acquired during this research should provide the basis for the future policy of nature development in this area.

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