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VLIZ news - Geosciences: Water column

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Green light for PLUXIN project: mapping and remediating plastic pollution in rivers

Added on: 2020-06-19
The amount of plastic in rivers and the ocean is increasing all the time. Within the frame of the PLUXIN project, Flemish scientists, entrepreneurs and The Blue Cluster are joining forces to map the plastics transported to the sea via ports and rivers, using innovative and automatic detection methods. The ultimate goal is to provide solutions and to set up pioneering commercial initiatives in Flanders in the plastic sanitation of water and sediments. ...

Microplastics are everywhere – ANDROMEDA investigates correct detection and quantification in the sea

Added on: 2020-06-18
Plastic litter is a worldwide problem. Once in the environment, the plastic crumbles into smaller particles. Also through the use of synthetic clothing and cosmetics, abrasive paint layers and car tires, etc. small plastic particles are released. They end up in the air, water and soil. And ultimately also in the sea. Detection and quantification of the smallest fraction of plastics - the so-called micro- and nanoplastics - remains a major challenge for researchers. Because how do you count and measure these small plastic particles if they are all around you and contamination is appropriate? The ANDROMEDA research project takes up the challenge. ...

VLIZ develops robot to validate satellite measurements

Added on: 2020-01-28
Scientists use satellite data to gain better insight in algal blooms and sediment transport in coastal waters. Occasionally they have to check the accuracy of this data against measurements made at the spot - at the sea surface - and eventually correct for errors. Traditionally marine scientist undertake expeditions with a research vessel to measure the actual situation. Within the project Hypermaq, the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) developed an automated way of working and created the robot system PANTHYR. This robot is able to collect autonomously more data at sea than was ever possible. A follow-up project now aims at unrolling a network of these robots worldwide. ...

4DEMON project combines data Belgian part of the North Sea over the past four decades

Added on: 2018-07-06
Scientists and data managers from KBIN, UGent, VLIZ, ILVO and ULiège have succeeded in saving a lot of old still analogue datasets on the Belgian part of the North Sea for loss (data archeology). In combining these with more recent measurement results, they obtained a data series spanning over a period of 40 years, which revealed interesting insights. For example, the nutrients phosphate and nitrogen were observed to decline in the southern North Sea. The seawater temperature on the other hand has risen by an average of one degree °C. The data analysts also see a shift in the species composition of the phytoplankton - the small water floating organisms that rely on photosynthesis for their energy supply - accompanied with the risk of harmful species turning up. Since 1985 the sea water in the Belgian part of the North Sea has become more acidic. ...

2014 a very busy year for the Sea Level Station Monitoring Facility

Added on: 2015-01-22
Eight years ago the website of the Sea Level Station Monitoring Facility was started. Since then this system serves 785 tide gauges worldwide. For each station the current sea level hight is shown in "nearly real time". In 2014 52 extra stations were added to the system. The website - developed and maintained by VLIZ for UNESCO/IOC - becomes known to an increasingly wider audience and was consulted 384 million times in the past year. A record-breaker! ...

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