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You are here: Home / Library / RBINS Staff Publications / An estimate of the suspended particulate matter (SPM) transport in the southern North Sea using SeaWiFS images, in situ measurements and numerical model results

M. Fettweis, B. Nechad and D. Van den Eynde (2007)

An estimate of the suspended particulate matter (SPM) transport in the southern North Sea using SeaWiFS images, in situ measurements and numerical model results

Continental Shelf Research, 27(10-11):1568-1583.

A study is presented where satellite images (SeaWiFS), in situ measurements (tidal cycle and snapshot) and a 2D hydrodynamic numerical model have been combined to calculate the long term SPM (Suspended Particulate Matter) transport through the Dover Strait and in the southern North Sea. The total amount of SPM supplied to the North Sea through the Dover Strait is estimated to be 31.74×106 t. The satellite images provide synoptic views of SPM concentration distribution but do not take away the uncertainty of SPM transport calculation. This is due to the fact that SPM concentration varies as a function of tide, wind, spring-neap tidal cycles and seasons. The short term variations (tidal, spring-neap tidal cycle) have not been found in the satellite images, however seasonal variations are clearly visible. Furthermore the SPM concentration in the satellite images is generally lower than in the in situ measurements. The representativness of SPM concentration maps derived from satellites for calculating long term transports has therefore been investigated by comparing the SPM concentration variability from the in situ measurements with those of the remote sensing data. The most important constraints of satellite images are related to the fact that satellite data is evidence of clear sky conditions, whereas in situ measurements from a vessel can be carried out also during rougher meteorological conditions and that due to the too low time resolution of the satellite images the SPM concentration peaks are often missed. It is underlined that SPM concentration measurements should be carried out during at least one tidal cycle in high turbidity areas to obtain representative values of SPM concentration. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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