The general aim of FANS is to improve the knowledge on water fluxes and associated sediment and nutrient fluxes in narrow shelves, in which nearshore and continental shelf may interact to determine across-shelf dynamics. The main scientific aim of the project is to study the coupling between nearshore, shelf and slope processes. The project rationale envisages a synergetic use of observational/experimental remote sensing and numerical modelling techniques applied to a suitable test area.
Unlike on extense North Atlantic shelves, the flow dynamics on narrow shelves are strongly influenced -and sometimes determined9 by nearshore and slope processes. Narrow shelves may be regarded as regions limited by two "boundary layers" that merge and control processes across the continental shelf. Many unsolved fundamental questions are linked to the narrow shelf concept. For instance, it is not known yet "how narrow" a narrow shelf has to be so that the shelf circulation is basically steered by nearshore and slope processes, nor "how wide" a narrow shelf has to be so that local forcings (winds, wind-waves, density gradients due continental outflows, etc.) are the dominant driving agents. The coupling between nearshore and slope dynamics across narrow shelves has not been much studied and may constitute a very interesting case to test theories and models developed for the nearshore, shelf and slope domains. The Spanish Mediterranean coast is an extremely well suited environment where basic studies addressing the afore mentioned topics can be carried out. The targeted area is envisaged as a test site for a generic research. The locally-obtained gain in understanding would be exportable to other narrow shelf environments and would also help to understand the role of nearshore and slope processes on wider shelf environments.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
L43 7RA Birkenhead
8300 AD Emmeloord
LL59 5EY Gwynedd
83957 La Garde