Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research

Coastal Systems Modelling

A generic ecosystem model

Ecosystem modelling at the NIOZ started in the1980's in the project group BOEDE (Biologisch Onderzoek Eems-Dollard Estuarium) which studied the consequences on the Ems-Dollard ecosystem of the discharge of very large amounts of waste water mainly originating from the patato-processing industry.  The experience from this modelling project was used by the NIOZ to initiate and coordinate an EU-project in the Marine Science and Technology program,1990-1995 where a consortium of 9 marine institutes developed the European Regional Seas Ecosystem Model (ERSEM). The specialization of the various institutes within a joint project on a European level was obviously the best way to tackle the formulation of a generic, system-based ecosystem model.  

Learn more about the development of the modelling project and find model results (dynamics and aggregated) via the menu on the right.

From 2004, NIOZ and Wageningen Marine Research cooperated in the NWO/ZKO-programme 'Changing carrying capacity in the Wadden Sea and North Sea coastal zone' and its sub-project 'Wadden Sea ecosystem data assimilation and integrated modelling'. Within this project, the ERSEM-GETM model has been applied to the Western Wadden Sea. Except for changes in the physical set-up such as the bathymetry, grid-size and vertical resolution, the only extension necessary was the inclusion of processes to model the dynamics of benthic diatoms. Thus, this application can also be seen as a test of the genericity of the ERSEM-formulation.

Below two examples of dynamic model results (chlorophill and salinity) of both North Sea and Wadden Sea. 

North Sea
Wadden Sea