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Upstream from the estuary: modelling processes in the drainage network of the Seine and Scheldt basin
Billen, G.; Garnier, J.; Rousseau, V. (2002). Upstream from the estuary: modelling processes in the drainage network of the Seine and Scheldt basin, in: ECSA Local Meeting: ecological structures and functions in the Scheldt Estuary: from past to future, Antwerp, Belgium October 7-10, 2002: abstract book. pp. 26
In: (2002). ECSA Local Meeting: ecological structures and functions in the Scheldt Estuary: from past to future, Antwerp, Belgium October 7-10, 2002: abstract book. University of Antwerp: Antwerp. 73 + 1 cd-rom pp., more

Available in Authors 
  • VLIZ: Proceedings [35159]
  • VLIZ: Open Repository 126746 [ OMA ]
Document type: Conference paper

Keywords
    Biogeochemical cycle; Catchment area; Climatic changes; Drainage water; Land use; Modelling; Urbanization; Water quality; Belgium, Schelde R. [Marine Regions]; France, Seine R. [Marine Regions]

Authors  Top 
  • Billen, G., more
  • Garnier, J.
  • Rousseau, V., more

Abstract
    The biogeochemical behaviour of any estuary is deeply influenced by the riverine input of material originating from the upstream watershed area. Land use and urban activity in the catchment, as well as processes leading to transformation, retention or elimination of chemical species during their downwards transfer through the river system, are therefore quite important to understand and model for understanding the functioning of an estuary. The Riverstrahler model has been developed for establishing the link between the biogeochemical functioning of large river systems and the constraints set by the meteorology, the morphology of the drainage network and the human activity in the watershed. This approach has been applied to the Seine River System (Billen et al, 2001) and allowed to explain the observed long-term trends in water quality changes over the last 50 years, as the combined effects of climate variations and urban, industrial and agricultural development. Here we apply the same retrospective approach to the Scheldt River System, using water quality data at the entrance of the estuarine zone available since the 1960'ies. Based on this analysis, we compare the long term trends of human development, as well as the resulting riverine processes, in these two contrasting basins.

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