The central goal of the project is to assess the carbon assimilation capacity of the Northern Adriatic in order to determine
acceptable limits to its eutrophication.
The objective will be accomplished through the following :
a) Database :
Establish a coherent, high-quality data set. This will be done from a proposed 20-month observational program, from relevant historical data, and from data exchanges with existing projects.
Observational Program. This will consist of two summer cruises during the peak of the stratified season to provide synoptic coverage when the eutrophic effects are most developed and seven monitoring cruises optimally designed to observe the seasonal changes in the Northern Adriatic's inputs, outputs and internal processes.
Historical data. Existing data will be utilized to understand the historical evolution and functioning of the system, e.g. through evaluation of the relationship between the trend in eutrophication and the trends in the anthropogenic inputs.
Current Research. Other research projects are currently obtaining information on rates, quantities and fluxes related to the eutrophication processes in the Northern Adriatic. Data and information exchange with these projects will be sought to enhance the quality of the project's assessments.
b) Modelling and Interpretative Analyses :
The project's data base will be used to accomplish the following analyses :
Calculate the heat, salt, oxygen, nutrient and carbon distributions and budgets for the observational period.
Determine the carbon, nutrient and energy inputs to the system for the period.
Evaluate the principal processes affecting the production, sedimentation and export of carbon from the system.
Construct a carbon assimilation model capable of simulating the historic and present trends of eutrophication for the Northern Adriatic and of predicting the consequences of continued degradation.
c) Further Assessment :
The project will provide an information base for the design of more detailed research. It will also initiate a framework for assessments of the assimilation limits for other pollutant parameters e.g. chlorinated hydrocarbons, heavy metals, etc. and provide a scientific basis for an efficient monitoring scheme to assist in the environmental management of the Adriatic.
ELNA also contributes to the Mediterranean TARGETTED project of MAST.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts