SWAMIEE project




Project Framework

Estuarine coastlines make up a significant part of the coasts of Europe. At the same time, estuaries comprise some of the most heavily industrialised and inhabited areas. Increased development of these shallow water systems has not only accentuated concerns over deteriorating environmental quality, but the resultant requirement for essential remedial activity has placed serious economic strain on the various users. Estuarine systems play a very important role in the sedimentary cycle, being one of the principal routes of the sedimentary exchanges between land and sea, often acting as sedimentary sinks. Therefore, they may form some of the most polluted environments in Europe, requiring special studies as developed during the project. The results of the project will be presented during the STRAEE workshop in September 2002 in Ferrara.

During the SWAMIEE project an interdisciplinary approach, based upon established and innovative research methods, was adopted to identify and comprehend the complex processes involved. Not only the long-term evolution of these systems was studied, but also the medium- and short-term response to both natural and anthropogenic forcing. The STRAEE workshop will allow to sum up the recent increased knowledge on aspects of estuarine development, within the key objectives outlined below:

1. The understanding, at specific industrialised and non-industrialised locations, of the movement of water and sediment, at a variety of time-scales. This approach encompasses both well established and innovative techniques, developed by the participants of the SWAMIEE consortium.

2. The integration of various data sets into predictive numerical models, for use in the establishment of regional patterns of water and sediment movement and their sensitivity to changes in the controlling mechanisms. This requires that the natural evolution of the system is modelled and that a variety of anthropogenic influences is superimposed.