Monitoring the water quality of coastal waters with automatic equipment

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Within Europe most maritime countries have monitoring programmes in place to fulfil their regulatory, EU or otherwise conventional commitments. Up till now no European structure has been set up or is in place to harmonize these observations in such a way that a comparison between different regions or a Pan European view is possible. A very limited overview can be obtained from the Annual reports of the EEA (European Environmental Agency), e.g. regarding nutrient concentrations in coastal waters. With the upcoming WFD, directives for transitional waters and the marine strategy requirements for pan European approaches are increasing.

Attempts to set up integrated networks of observations have been made on regional scales e.g. in the Baltic (BOOS), and in the North Sea and adjacent Atlantic (NOOS). However, still these networks do hardly cope with the ecosystem approach as promoted by ICES (International Council for the Exploration of the Sea). Generally most networks intend to observe the primary parameters needed to improve our meteorological models or physical water parameters to improve our transport and current models. What is urgently needed is to extend these lists of parameters to important ecological parameters such as turbidity, phytoplankton and zooplankton biomass, occasional biomass of fishes, macro-benthos, and nutrients in surface and deeper waters. In order to obtain reliable data which can as well be used to drive ecological models intensive quality assurance procedures have to be implemented and integrated into the overall data management schemes.

The present article aims at presenting possible approaches and at showing the possibilities which are currently available. This includes ships-of-opportunity observations, in combination with the CPR (Continuous Plankton Recorder), satellite observations to extend the spatial scale of high frequency ground truth observations, and finally the incorporation through data assimilation of these observations into combined transport and ecological models.

European policies and operational services

Over the last decade ... (CA p 6)

Data analysis, numerical modelling and data assimilation

Developing forecasting tools ... (page 8 COSYNA)

Description of a facility

New features (Cosyna page 12)

(with one picture from page 12, Fig. 1.)



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The main author of this article is Colijn, Franciscus
Please note that others may also have edited the contents of this article.

Citation: Colijn, Franciscus (2008): Monitoring the water quality of coastal waters with automatic equipment. Available from [accessed on 7-08-2020]