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Processes in regions of freshwater influence

More:  Institute 
Reference no: MAS20054
Period: July 1993 till June 1996
Status: Completed

Thesaurus terms: Coastal waters; Currents (water); Numerical models; Nutrients (mineral); Plankton; Sediment transport
Geographical terms: ANE, Germany, German Bight [Marine Regions]; ANE, Netherlands, Rhine estuary [Marine Regions]

Institute  Top 
  • Koninklijk Belgisch Instituut voor Natuurwetenschappen; Departement Beheer van het Mariene Ecosysteem; Beheerseenheid Mathematisch Model Noordzee en Schelde-estuarium; Brussel (KBIN-BMM), more

The project's overall aim is to develop process understanding and tested numerical models for Regions of Freshwater Influence (ROFI). It encompasses the study of the role of physical processes controlling water- property distribution and that of suspended sediments controlling the availability of light and nutrients for phytoplankton growth. The project comprises the construction of a fully coupled 3-D nearshore model. It will have high resolution (1 hour, 1 kilometre approximately) and extend offshore to any vertically-mixed region outside the ROFI. It will comprise a framework with modules describing:

- the influence of tidal cycles and variable weather conditions including waves;
- currents, temperature, salinity, turbulence, and diffusivity including stratification effects;
- sediments including deposition, erosion, and flocculation;
- plankton, nutrients, oxygen.

The effects of boundary forcing by measurements or a wider-area model will be compared with those of focusing. Specific tests of model components against measurements will be performed. Model calculations will be tested for prognostic quality and robustness by comparisons with measured constituents in contrasted ROFIs.

The following measurements to extend the data basis for ROFI process understanding and modelling will be performed: contrasted ROFI regimes; longer duration to cover variability over a seasonal cycle; more continuous salinity and fluorescence records; good vertical resolution suitable for testing the nearshore model; time series to determine ROFI dynamics and intermittency; time-series of near-bottom sediment transports.

Systematic observations of the contrasted Rhine, Clyde, and Thermaikos Bay ROFIs will complement earlier measurements in the ROFI areas of the Rhine, German Bight and Po. Behaviour of the contrasting ROFIs will be inter-compared and interpreted using models.

The outcome will be a defined set of observations, model code and model output on electronic media, and model-data comparison, suitable for subsequent integration and promulgation as test data, as well as a nearshore model for wider use.

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