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Oceanographic applications to eutrophication in regions of restricted exchange

Objective

Problems to be solved.
OAERRE aims to understand the physical, biogeochemical and biological processes, and their interactions, involved in eutrophication in coastal marine Regions of Restricted Exchange (RREs), especially lagoons and fjords. The scientific issues addressed include the controls on horizontal and vertical exchange in RREs and the response of coastal ecosystems to nutrient enrichment. Studies of that help to define safe loadings of an RRE with nutrients are relevant to the EC Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive and similar directives, soon to be consolidated in a Water Framework Directive. They are also relevant to aqua cultural aspects of the Common Fisheries Policy. OAERRE relates to key action 3 (Sustainable Marine Ecosystems) of Framework V, especially to the themes concerned with: better assessment of naturally occurring mechanisms of ecosystem functioning; transport pathways and impacts of pollutants and key elements in the marine environment; reducing the effects of anthropogenic activities on the marine environment and recovering degraded marine systems; and integrated studies of land-ocean interaction. The project will contribute to the aims of ELOISE, including the objective-foci concerned with interactions between pollution, eutrophication, and physical disturbance and development of mathematical models aimed at prediction and upscaling.
Scientific Objectives and Approach
OAERRE's objectives are
(1) Observations of the physics of vertical and open boundary exchange in RREs, leading to improved parameterisation of these processes in research and simplified models.
(2) Study of the phytoplankton and pelagic micro-heterotrophs responsible for production and decomposition of organic material, and of sedimentation, benthic processes and benthic-pelagic coupling, in RREs, with the results expressed as basin-scale parameters.
(3) Construction of closed budgets and coupled physical-biological research models for nutrient (especially nitrogen) and organic carbon cycling in RREs, allowing tests of hypotheses about biogeochemistry, water quality and the balance of organisms.
(4) Construction of simplified 'screening' models for the definition, assessment and prediction of eutrophication, involving collaboration with 'end-users', and the use of these models to analyse the costs and benefits of amelioration scenarios.
OAERRE is a collaboration amongst physical, chemical and biological oceanographers, and coastal resource managers, with intensive studies relating to eutrophication at sites that exemplify a range of hydrographic and enrichment conditions. Four of these sites are fjords: Kongsfjord (Svalbard); Gullmaren (Skagerak); Himmerfjärden (Baltic); and the Firth of Clyde (Scotland). Two are bays: Golfe de Fos (French Mediterranean); and Ria Formosa (Algarve). Research cruises to fjords will using standard ship born instrumentation (ADCP and CTD with optical sensors and water sampling bottles), plus turbulence probes, towed undulating CTD, and benthic sampling devices. Bays will be sampled using small boats and divers. Moorings will be equipped with a range of physical, acoustic, chemical and (bio-) optical sensors. The Gullmaren mooring will contain a profiling sensor package. Process studies will provide estimates of key ecosystem parameters, especially concerning physical exchange, nutrient cycling, the relative importance of autotrophic and heterotrophic processes, and the 'balance of organisms' amongst the benthos and the smaller plankton. Remote sensing will be used to study larger RREs and to provide boundary conditions.
Research models, involving 1D, 2D and 3D representations of physical, biogeochemical and biological processes in RRE, will draw on and advance the state of the art, and will be tested against historic and new data. One model will be used for trial "real-time" simulations. The research models, and the process studies, will underpin the development of 'screening' models for eutrophication and related aspects of water quality. These 'screening' models are simplified representations of RREs in terms of a few boxes, in which the major processes are described in terms of a few 'system parameters'. They will be designed to be safe through use of the precautionary principle, and to be transparent to a range of end-users, especially those responsible for maintenance of water quality. Output will be subjected to socio-economic scenario analysis to demonstrate the use of these models in evaluating options for ameliorating environmental impact.
Expected impacts
Expected achievements of OAERRE are: better understanding of lateral and vertical exchange in RREs; better understanding of effects of physical environment and enrichment status on pelagic and benthic system parameters in RREs; better understanding of the holistic functioning of RREs; and improved European water-quality objectives and standards for marine coastal eutrophication.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

NAPIER UNIVERSITY
Address
Colinton Road 10
EH10 5DT Edinburgh
United Kingdom

Participants (12)

CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE
France
Address
Rue De La Batterie Des Lions, Station Marine D'end
13007 Marseille
GOETEBORG UNIVERSITY
Sweden
Address
5A,guldhedsgatan 5A
413 81 Göteborg
INSTITUTE OF MARINE RESEARCH
Portugal
Address
Quinta Da Torra
2825 Monte Da Caparica
INSTITUTO DE INVESTIGACAO DAS PESCAS E DO MAR
Portugal
Address
Avenida De Brasilia
1449-006 Lisboa
NORWEGIAN POLAR INSTITUTE OF THE MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT
Norway
Address
Hjalmar Johansens G. 14
9296 Tromsoe
ROYAL BELGIAN INSTITUTE FOR NATURAL SCIENCES
Belgium
Address
Gulledelle 100
1200 Bruxelles
SAGREMARISCO-VIVEIROS DE MARISCO LDA
Portugal
Address
Beco 1 De Malo No2, Praia De Salema
Budens
STOCKHOLM UNIVERSITET
Sweden
Address

10691 Stockholm
SWEDISH METEOROLOGICAL AND HYDROLOGICAL INSTITUTE
Sweden
Address
Folkborgsvägen 1
601 76 Norrköping
THE SCOTTISH ASSOCIATION FOR MARINE SCIENCE
United Kingdom
Address
Dunbeg
PA37 1QA Oban
UNIVERSITE DE LA MEDITERRANEE D'AIX-MARSEILLE II
France
Address
Antenne De Toulon, Zone Portuaire De Brégaillon
83507 La Seyne Sur Mer
UNIVERSITY OF WALES - BANGOR
United Kingdom
Address
Askew Street
LL59 5EY Gwynedd