The project Metro-Med aims to study and model the key processes of matter transfer (exchange and storage) and the biogeochemical cycles in the coastal zone system.
The functioning of the coastal environment, the factors that control the inflow and the transfer of matter in the marine ecosystem and the fluxes between the different compartments of the coastal zone (mixed zone fresh water/saline water, normal marine water, benthic nepheloid layer (BNL), bottom sediment) will be studied. The estimation of the environmental capacity of the coastal zone regarding the anthropogenic inputs mainly from the rivers, and the understanding and description of the main processes controlling the cycles of organic carbon, nutrients and trace elements in the coastal environment will be approached.
These processes will be studied in two sites in the Mediterranean Sea:
a) Thermaikos Gulf in Northern Greece;
b) Gulf of Lions in Southern France.
The project is structured in five main tasks:
Task 1: the processes of matter transfer in the fresh/salt water interface;
Task 2: the transfer of suspended particulate matter and the resuspension processes in the shelf environment;
Task 3: biogeochemical cycles;
Task 4: data management, GIS, socio-economic approach;
Task 5: synthesis and integration of results of mechanistic modelling, prognostic modelling and field and laboratory measurements - feasibility assessment of model transfer.
The linking between the study of the natural processes and the socio-economic development will be approached, too. The various hydrodynamical models, available to the participants in the corresponding tasks, will be extended so that matter transfer and biogeochemical processes at the appropriate spatial and temporal scales will be included.
For the implementation of the scientific objectives, "conventional" methods and "conventional" equipment, advanced techniques (for laboratory and field experiment) as well as new observational and sample technology will be used. The processes of matter transfer and of the biogeochemical cycles will be described with process-based models. Modelling will be implemented in conjunction with a data base - data management system and with the use of GIS-techniques.
It is aimed to produce new environmental data, to use all the existing and available data and to model the processes of matter transfer and the biogeochemical processes in the coastal environment.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
06904 Sophia Antipolis
4401 EA Yerseke
SO14 3ZH Southampton