Case study areas

CERTO is using six case study areas spread across European coastal waters to provide a range of transitional environments to ensure a full range of Optical Water Types and associated algorithms are fully characterised and validated.

These six areas are spread all across Europe and provide contrasting environments to study, ranging from the large watersheds of the Elbe, Curonian and Tagus to the smaller catchments of the Tamar, Venice and Razelm-Sinoe. Four of the upstream regions cross geopolitical boundaries, which has complex implications for management of these areas.

In situ sampling was limited during the first year of the project due to COVID constraints, therefore early work focused on utilising existing data combined with satellite observations.  Fortunately it has been possible to undertake fieldwork during 2021 in all areas and further fieldwork campaigns are planned for 2022. Follow the links in the table below for reports from the sampling campaigns.

  Sampling 2021 Sampling 2022
Curonian lagoon July and September May
Elbe estuary June/July April/May
Razelm-Sinoe lagoon April/May and July/August July/September
Tagus estuary September/October April
Tamar estuary September April
Venice lagoon March to August October/November
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Curonian lagoon, Russia/Lithuania

The lagoon is shallow with a predominantly freshwater ecosystem (mean depth 3.8 m; surface area 1,584 km2). The main tributary is the Nemunas river that provides the main inflow, both in terms of the amount of water, nutrients and persistent pollution. The Curonian lagoon is a hypereutrophic environment... Read more >
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Elbe estuary, Germany

The German Bight is a large, temperate, relatively flat coastal wetland environment, formed by the intricate interactions between physical and biological factors that have given rise to a multitude of transitional habitats with tidal channels, sandy shoals, sea-grass meadows, mussel beds, sandbars, mudflats, salt marshes... Read more >
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Razelm-Sinoe lagoon, Romania

The lagoon system is divided in two units (Razelm and Sinoe) formed by semi-independent lakes. Razelm has an area of 415km2 and a maximum depth of 3.2m and Sinoe has 171km2 and a maximum depth of 2.2m.The lagoon shares its southern, western and eastern limits with the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve boundaries, the... Read more >
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Tagus estuary, Portugal

Situated near the capital city of Lisbon, the Tagus estuary comprises a protected natural reserve area and is the stopping grounds for a wide range of migratory bird species and transiting fish. Upstream waters from the Tagus river have their source in Spain, whose freshwater flows through the Tagus before outflowing into the... Read more >
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Tamar estuary, UK

Plymouth Sound is part of the Western Channel Observatory (WCO) situated on the north-west European Shelf that straddles several biogeographical provinces. The marine laboratories in Plymouth have sampled at several sites within the western English Channel for over a century in open shelf (e.g. station E1) and coastal (e.g. station... Read more >
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Venice lagoon, Italy

The lagoon maintains a connection to the northern Adriatic Sea through the inlets of Lido, Malamocco, and Chioggia, and the exchange of water through the inlets in each tidal cycle is about a third of the total volume of the lagoon. The northern Adriatic Sea is a shallow and semi-enclosed regional sea, influenced by the plumes of... Read more >

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