UBEST: Understanding the biogeochemical buffering capacity of estuaries relative to climate change and anthropogenic inputs

Summary

UBEST aims at improving the global understanding of the biogeochemical buffering capacity of estuaries and its susceptibility to future scenarios of anthropogenic inputs and climate change. UBEST will effectively support the short and long-term management of these systems. This goal will be achieved by deploying “observatories”, which are emerging tools that integrate process-based numerical models and their results, and in-situ observations. To promote the generalization of the conclusions, two Portuguese case studies with very distinct characteristics will be assessed, the Tagus estuary and the Ria Formosa, a coastal lagoon.

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Results


Task 1 – Historical data compilation and analysis
A background characterization of the Tagus estuary and of the Ria Formosa was performed providing a better understanding of the natural variability of these systems, and of their evolution and response to anthropogenic and climate drivers. This review is also the foundation of the historical environmental data compilation that will integrate the Tagus estuary and the Ria Formosa observatories.

The ecological values of both systems are well recognized, as they both harbor important protected ecosystems. The Tagus estuary is one of the largest estuaries in Europe with an area of about 320 km2. The Ria Formosa is considered the most important coastal ecosystem in the Algarve region, with an humid area of about 100 km2 of which one third corresponds to saltmarshes. Both systems are vital for the local and regional economies supporting diverse activities along their margins and in their watersheds, like urban areas, industrial, port and airport facilities, fishing, tourism and aquaculture. The Tagus estuary and the Ria Formosa present, however, very distinct physical and morphological characteristics. One of the main differences relies on the freshwater input, which is almost negligible in the Ria Formosa, except in Tavira where the Gilão River encounters the sea. In contrast, in the Tagus estuary the mean freshwater input from its main affluent, the Tagus river, is 336 m3/s. Morphologically, the two systems are also significantly different. The Tagus estuary is a single inlet system, while the Ria Formosa is a multi-inlet system. These different characteristics affect the circulation within both systems and, consequently, the biogeochemical dynamics.

Find out more about the Tagus estuary and the Ria Formosa.

Task 2 – Monitoring network: conventional field campaigns and online station deployment and validation

Online monitoring in the Ria Formosa

A water quality online monitoring station was installed and is under operation in the Ria Formosa, in the Faro channel, since May 2017. This station is equipped with an YSI EXO2 multiparameter probe, which measures water temperature, conductivity, pH, dissolved oxygen, turbidity and chlorophyll a, and an OBSERMET OMC-045-III data logger, for data acquisition and transmission.

Field campaign – UBEST1
The first field campaign took place in the Ria Formosa on May 30-31, 2017. This field campaign covered the entire area of the Ria Formosa and included the collection of physical, chemical and biological data during one semidiurnal tidal cycle (~12.5 h).

Field campaign – UBEST2
The second field campaign took place in the Ria Formosa on September 14-15, 2017.

Field campaign – UBEST3
The third field campaign took place in the Ria Formosa on October 26-26, 2017.

Fotos da 3ª Campanha de campo

Field campaign – UBEST4

The first field campaign in the Tagus estuary took place on May 10, 2018. This field campaign covered the entire area of the estuary and, similarly to the field campaigns in the Ria Formosa, included the collection of physical, chemical and biological data during one semidiurnal tidal cycle (~12.5 h).

Field campaign – UBEST5
The second field campaign in the Tagus estuary took place on September 27, 2018.

Fotos da 6 Campanha de campo

 

 

Web portal
Comprehensive web-portal that integrates the information of the water observatories, including: i) historical and online observations of physical, chemical and biological variables; ii) daily forecasts of circulation and water quality; iii) analysis of the circulation and water quality dynamics for different scenarios of climate change and anthropogenic pressures (under development); iv) indicators of the physical and trophic conditions (under development).

historical and online observations of physical, chemical and biological variables
daily forecasts of circulation and water quality
analysis of the circulation and water quality dynamics for different scenarios of climate change and anthropogenic pressures (under development
indicators of the physical and trophic conditions (under development)
6 Campanha de campo

Field campaign – UBEST6
The third field campaign in the Tagus estuary took place on November 6, 2018.

Task 3 – Implementation, validation and operational deployment of the coupled hydrodynamic-biogeochemical numerical models

Task 4 – Quantification of the estuarine biogeochemical buffering capacity for present and future scenarios

Task 5 – Global estuarine classification

Publications


Scientific Papers
Assessment of a three-dimensional baroclinic circulation model of the Tagus estuary (Portugal) Marta Rodrigues, André B. Fortunato
2017, AIMS Environmental Science 4, 6: 763 - 787. DOI

Plataforma interativa e integradora para previsão em tempo real e gestão do risco de inundação
Anabela Oliveira, André B Fortunato, Paula Freire, João Rogeiro, Alberto Azevedo, Marta Rodrigues, Luís M David, Elsa Alves, Ana Mendes, Joana Teixeira
2017, Recursos Hídricos, 39(1)

Reports
Report 1, Characterization of the study areas: Tagus estuary and Ria Formosa
Marta Rodrigues, Alexandra Rosa, Alexandra Cravo, André B. Fortunato, José Jacob

Report 2,Installation of the water quality online monitoring station in the Ria Formosa
Marta Rodrigues, Alexandra Cravo, José Jacob, Alexandra Rosa, João Rogeiro

Report 3, Field campaign UBEST1: Ria Formosa - May 30-31, 2017
Alexandra Cravo, José Jacob1, Alexandra Rosa

Online monitoring in the Tagus Estuary: Parque das Nações station, Installation and operation between January 2016 and February 2017
Marta Rodrigues, Paula Freire, João Rogeiro, André B. Fortunato

UBEST Field Campaigns, 4th Campaign: Tagus Estuary, May 10, 2018.
Daniela Santos, Paula Freire, André B Fortunato, Alexandra Cravo

Report 4, Field campaign UBEST2: Ria Formosa – September 14-15, 2017
Alexandra Cravo, José Jacob, Alexandra Rosa

Report 5, Field campaign UBEST3: Ria Formosa – October 25-26, 2017
Alexandra Cravo, José Jacob, Alexandra Rosa

Communications in Scientific Events
High-performance computing applied to numerical models in UBEST
Ricardo Martins, João Rogeiro, Marta Rodrigues, André B Fortunato, Anabela Oliveira, Alberto Azevedo
2018, Scientific Challenges & Business Opportunities in Water Management (SciBOWater), Berlim, Alemanha

Characterization of the Ria Formosa water bodies in spring 2017
Alexandra Rosa, C Correia, José Jacob, Alexandra Cravo
2018, Seminario Ibérico de Química Marina (SIQUIMAR), Vigo, Espanha

One year monitoring of water characteristics inside Ria Formosa
José Jacob, Alexandra Cravo, Alexandra Rosa, Marta Rodrigues, João Rogeiro
2018, 5as Jornadas de Engenharia Hidrográfica, Lisboa, Portugal

Previsão em tempo real a pedido na Costa Portuguesa. O serviço OPENCoastS.pt e sua demonstração na circulação da Ria Formosa
Joana Teixeira, André B Fortunato, João Rogeiro, Alberto Azevedo, Marta Rodrigues, Anabela Oliveira
2018, 14º Congresso da Água, Évora, Portugal

Better understanding of the biogeochemical buffering capacity of Ria Formosa, Portugal to future scenarios of global changes
Alexandra Cravo, José Jacob, Alexandra Rosa, Marta Rodrigues, João Rogeiro
2018, Ocean Sciences Meeting, Portland, EUA

OPENCoastS.pt – Serviço de previsão em tempo real a pedido para a circulação e agitação marítima na costa Portuguesa
Joana Teixeira, João Rogeiro, Anabela Oliveira, André B Fortunato, Alberto Azevedo, Marta Rodrigues
2017, 9as Jornadas Portuguesas de Engenharia Costeira e Portuária, Lisboa, Portugal

Salinity evolution in the Tagus estuary relative to climate change
Marta Rodrigues, André B. Fortunato, Paula Freire
2016, 4as Jornadas de Engenharia Hidrográfica, Lisboa, Portugal

Plataforma interativa e integradora para previsão em tempo real e gestão do risco de inundação
Anabela Oliveira, André B. Fortunato, Paula Freire, João Rogeiro, Alberto Azevedo, Marta Rodrigues, Luís M. David, Elsa Alves, Ana Mendes, Joana Teixeira
2017, 7º Seminário APRH-Núcleo Regional Norte, V.N.Gaia, Portugal

UBEST: Compreensão da capacidade de regulação biogeoquímica dos estuários num contexto de alterações climáticas e das fontes antropogénicas
Marta Rodrigues, Alexandra Cravo, André B. Fortunato, Anabela Oliveira, José Jacob, Ricardo Martins, João Rogeiro, Alberto Azevedo e Alexandra Rosa
2017, 4ª Conferência sobre Morfodinâmica Estuarina e Costeira – MEC2017, Porto, Portugal

 

Public Sessions


Scientific Challenges & Business Opportunities in Water Management (SciBOWater), 2018, Berlim, Alemanha
High-performance computing applied to numerical models in UBEST

Seminario Ibérico de Química Marina (SIQUIMAR), 2018, Vigo, Espanha
Characterization of the Ria Formosa water bodies in Spring 2017

5as Jornadas de Engenharia Hidrográfica, 2018, Lisboa, Portugal
One year monitoring of water characteristics inside Ria Formosa

14º Congresso da Água, 2018, Évora, Portugal
Previsão em tempo real a pedido na Costa Portuguesa. O serviço OPENCoastS.pt e sua demonstração na circulação da Ria Formosa

Ocean Sciences Meeting, 2018, Portland, EUA
Better understanding of the biogeochemical buffering capacity of Ria Formosa, Portugal to future scenarios of global changes

Jornadas Tecnológicas 2018, Engenharia do Ambiente – FCT/UNL, 2018, Caparica, Portugal
Project UBEST - Understanding the biogeochemical buffering capacity of estuaries relative to climate change and anthropogenic inputs

2º Seminário: Estudo dos Cnidários, as ferramentas disponíveis, 2017, Lisboa, Portugal
Monitorização e previsão em estuários: ferramentas de apoio à gestão

9as Jornadas Portuguesas de Engenharia Costeira e Portuária, 2017, Lisboa, Portugal
OPENCoastS.pt – Serviço de previsão em tempo real a pedido para a circulação e agitação marítima na costa Portuguesa

4as Jornadas de Engenharia Hidrográfica, Lisboa, Portugal
Salinity evolution in the Tagus estuary relative to climate change

7º Seminário APRH-Núcleo Regional Norte, V.N.Gaia, Portugal
Plataforma interativa e integradora para previsão em tempo real e gestão do risco de inundação

4ª Conferência sobre Morfodinâmica Estuarina e Costeira – MEC2017, Porto, Portugal
UBEST: Understanding the biogeochemical buffering capacity of estuaries relative to climate change and anthropogenic inputs

Our Global Estuary


Our Global Estuary is a science-based, grassroots initiative addressing estuaries as critical local and global resources.

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Consortium


 

 

Team

Laboratório Nacional de Engenharia Civil

Marta Rodrigues (PI), André Fortunato, Anabela Oliveira, Paula Freire, Alberto Azevedo, João Rogeiro, Ricardo Martins, Joana Teixeira, Daniela Santos

Universidade do Algarve

Alexandra Cravo, José Jacob, Alexandra Rosa

 

Scientific consultant

Prof. António Melo Baptista (Oregon Health & Science University)

 

Project funded by the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, PTDC/AAG-MAA/6899/2014.

Contacts


Laboratório Nacional de Engenharia Civil
Av. do Brasil, 101
1700-066 LISBOA
PORTUGAL

 

Marta Rodrigues

218 443 613

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Context

Estuaries are among the most productive ecosystems on Earth and provide multiple ecosystem services. They harbour ecologically important habitats for fish, shellfish and birds and, due to their buffering capacity, protect the coastal ocean from increased nutrient loads and other terrestrial contaminants. Estuaries also support diverse human activities (e.g. marine transportation, fishing, tourism, and repository waters for domestic wastewater), providing economic resilience to coastal communities and protecting them from natural hazards. However, the predicted increase of human activities in estuaries, together with climate change, may increase the hazards in these systems and alter estuarine ecosystems dynamics. Climate change, such as sea level rise, represents a major threat to the world’s estuaries, via potential increases in salinity, acceleration in the nutrients cycling and disruption of aquatic ecosystems. Also, recent and predicted increases of nutrients loads to estuaries may exacerbate these impacts, leading to a decline of the regulating services provided by the estuaries (value estimated at 25847 Int$/ha/year), which include the estuarine buffering capacity.

Objectives

The scientific goal of UBEST is to improve the global understanding of the biogeochemical buffering capacity of estuaries and its susceptibility to future scenarios of anthropogenic inputs and climate change. UBEST will effectively support the short and long-term management of these systems. This goal will be achieved by deploying “observatories”, which are emerging tools that integrate process-based numerical models and their results, and in-situ observations. To promote the generalization of the conclusions, two Portuguese case studies with very distinct characteristics will be assessed, the Tagus estuary and the Ria Formosa, a coastal lagoon.

The specific objectives of UBEST are:
i) the deployment of a monitoring network for biological and chemical parameters (e.g. chlorophyll-a, dissolved oxygen and nutrients) that will include an online biogeochemical station and a set of conventional stations;
ii) the implementation/improvement and validation of state-of-the-art, process-based, coupled hydrodynamic-biogeochemical models in each system;
iii) the quantification of the biogeochemical buffering capacity of each estuary under present conditions and for projected scenarios of sea level rise, changes in the hydrological regimes, air temperature and nutrients loads;
iv) the assessment of the estuarine physical and trophic conditions of the two estuaries under global classification metrics, and their comprehensive comparison with other estuaries worldwide.

WORKPLAN

 

Date: July 2016 – June 2019

Team

UBEST involves a multidisciplinary team from Laboratório Nacional de Engenharia Civil (Coordination) and Universidade do Algarve, with complementary expertise in the fields of numerical modelling, in-situ data acquisition, laboratorial analyses and online data-model deployments.