Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Scientific knowledge on biogass production in estuaries

Estuaries are extremely dynamic systems usually characterized by strong physico-chemical gradients, enhanced biological activity (both heterotrophic and autotrophic) and intense sedimentation and resuspension. Profound changes are observed in the speciation of organic and inorganic compounds in response to these factors, particularly in the European estuaries of the North Atlantic system which are additionally subject to macro-tidal variations. The tidal regime of these estuaries leads to an increased residence time of the fresh water in the estuarine mixing zone and the generation of a turbidity maximum, often with an associated oxygen-deplete zone within which various anaerobic processes may be stimulated. In addition, as a result of supporting the major population centres within their catchments, European estuaries are subject to intense anthropogenic disturbances reflected in elevated loadings of detrital organic matter, nutrients and toxic trace elements. All these features increase the potential for biogenic gas production within estuaries and have been studied during the project.

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Université de Liège
Sart Tilman
4000 Liège
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