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North-West European shelf programme

Objective



The North-West European shelf is one of the world's largest
and its waters belong to the best studied areas of this kind. The area represents an important transit region for dissolved and particulate matter stemming from major European rivers.
Extended research cruises, combined with a number of numerical models, have produced a high level of knowledge. The combined data sets of this area provide one of the most detailed sets of observations ever undertaken in any shelf sea. However due to the large scale and the strong variability of the phenomena involved, present knowledge still has a fragmentary character. No insight exists into the long term evolution of the shelf
system and no reliable estimates are available regarding the net retention or release of matter.

To tackle these questions at an appropriate scale and to
exploit and co- ordinate European preeminence in shelf sea
research there is a strong need from the various research
groups to start an integrated project in this area. This is
the challenge of the NOWESP project.

The objectives can be summarized in the following three
points:

- to quantify the biogeochemical fluxes, such as the fluxes of nutrients, plankton, carbon, and the transport of
organic and inorganic particulate matter, including their
biological and chemical modifications.

- to estimate their variabilities and trends.

- to understand the nature of shelves as a link between
land and ocean.

NOWESP will integrate and analyze existing European data sets. From these integrated data sets the project aims to make an
assessment of the fluxes of energy and matter, as well as
their variability. Because the North-West European Shelf, and especially the North Sea, is an intensively investigated area and possesses a large number of monitoring networks,
comprehensive hydrographic and chemical-biological data sets are available in the NOWESP countries.
These will be made available for the purposes of NOWESP.
NOWESP contributes to fulfil the need for data integration at the Community level and the particular needs of several member states to obtain more knowledge about the fluxes of the
various constituents over the shelf and especially in the
North Sea.
NOWESP provides a state-of-the-art of present-day knowledge on shelf fluxes in the North-West European Shelf and clarifies
the priorities of further field measurements and model
developments from the viewpoint of fluxes.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

MINISTRY OF TRANSPORT PUBLIC WORKS AND WATER MANAGEMENT
Address
Kortenaerkade 1
2500 EX Den Haag ('S-gravenhage)
Netherlands

Participants (17)

BALTIC SEA RESEARCH INSTITUTE
Germany
Address
15,Seestrasse 15
18119 Rostock /Warnemunde
FEDERAL MARITIME AND HYDROGRAPHIC AGENCY
Germany
Address
Bernhard-nocht-strasse 78
20359 Hamburg
Havforskningsinstitutett
Norway
Address

5024 Bergen-nordnes
Institut Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la Mer (IFREMER)
France
Address
Centre De Brest
29290 Plouzane
Institut d'Hygiène et d'Epidémiologie
Belgium
Address
100,Gulledelle
1200 Bruxelles
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
Belgium
Address
2,W. De Croylaan
3001 Heverlee
NATURAL ENVIRONMENT RESEARCH COUNCIL
United Kingdom
Address
Bidston Observatory
L43 7RA Birkenhead
Netherlands Institute for Sea Research
Netherlands
Address

1790 AB Texel, Den Burg
SIR ALISTER HARDY FOUNDATION FOR OCEAN SCIENCE
United Kingdom
Address
Citadel Hill, The Laboratory
PL1 2PB Plymouth
STICHTING MATHEMATISCH CENTRUM
Netherlands
Address
413,Kruislaan 413
1090 GB Amsterdam
STICHTING WATERLOOPKUNDIG LABORATORIUM (WL/DELFT HYDRAULICS)
Netherlands
Address
185,Rotterdamseweg 185
2600 MH Delft
THE UNIVERSITY OF LIVERPOOL
United Kingdom
Address
Abercromby Square
L69 3BX Liverpool
Technische Universiteit Delft
Netherlands
Address
132,Julianalaan
2600 AJ Delft
UNIVERSITE DE BORDEAUX I
France
Address
Avenue Des Facultés
33405 Talence
UNIVERSITY OF HAMBURG
Germany
Address
Troplowitzstrasse 7
22529 Hamburg
UNIVERSITY OF HAMBURG
Germany
Address
Budesstrasse 55
20146 Hamburg
University of Dublin - Trinity College
Ireland
Address
Trinity College
1 Dublin