WP4 of JERICO-NEXT aims to synthesize the project’s activities in the other WPs and gather the contributions around applied Joint Research Activity Projects (JRAPs) selected to benefit of and highlight JERICO-NEXT activities. In order to fulfil this objective, methodologies developed or improved in WP3 were applied in the JRAPs;the provision of data assembled and distributed was undertaken according to the WP5 recommendations; dedicated topical approaches of the scientific strategy matured jointly with WP1&4 (Deliverable D4.1) were applied within the JRAPs, providing then in return essential input to the future road map of the research infrastructures. Indeed, six JRAPs were implemented to address different key environmental issues and/or policy needs such as those considered by the MSFD, and according to the 6 JERICO-NEXT scientific areas:
1- JRAP#1 on pelagic biodiversity
2- JRAP#2 on benthic biodiversity
3- JRAP#3 on chemical contaminant occurrence and related biological responses
4- JRAP#4 on hydrography and transport
5- JRAP#5 on carbon fluxes and carbonate system
6- JRAP#6 on operational oceanography and forecasting.
These JRAPs were not intending to implement similar actions at each JERICO-RI site but only to a selection of sites/regions according to the consortium interests and requirements from local to regional scales. Consequently, it is paramount to regionally synthesize the preliminary results after deployments in JRAPs, which is the purpose of this document.
The main document is organised according to the following regions and sites:
- Bay of Biscay (South East Bay of Biscay, Portuguese Margin and Nazaré Canyon, Girond Mud patch and Bay of Brest)
- Channel and North Sea
- Kattegat and Skagerrak Sea
- Baltic Sea
- Norwegian Sea
- Med. Sea: From Liguria to the Ibiza Channel
- Med. Sea: Northern Adriatic Sea
- Med. Sea: Cretan Sea.
Results for those regions are presented in chapter 3 after consideration of the regional or site specificities related to the most relevant scientific issues of the area and the most relevant societal and policy needs, respectively. As the project and the JRAPs were not a priori organised to fit with regional to local needs, the reader may identify a weak point in the way JERICO-NEXT is addressing scientific syntheses per region. Nevertheless, it is a preliminary work towards the regional structuration of the RI, as expected, and a significant effort was put forth to identify discrepancies in the level of regional integration, and the recommended way to progress on this issue is presented in Chapter 4.
Synthesis of main achievements per region of JERICO-RI
Bay of Biscay: SE BoB
- Involved JRAPs: JRAPs #1 3 4 6
- Progress in the study of coastal small scale and mesoscale features from the combined use of multiplatform in-situ and satellite data.
- Progress in the application of innovative techniques (developed in WP3) in this area for data-gap filling, data-blending, advanced Lagrangian diagnostics and performing observing system experiments (OSEs) and observing system simulation experiments (OSSEs).
- Success in the gathering of new high-resolution datasets from different surveys and actions in the area (ETOILE with MASTODON-2D moorings deployment and TNA BB-TRANS).
Bay of Biscay: Gironde and Bay of Brest
- Involved JRAPs: JRAP #2
- Success in gathering biological and biogeochemical observations on a major marine mudpatch located in a high energetic environment. New evidence on the major role of hydrodynamics in controlling benthic diversity and associated biogeochemical processes in this mudpatch.
- Success in deriving high resolution spatial maps of clam dredging pressure in the Bay of Brest and in using these maps to show the deleterious effect of this activity on benthic diversity hosted by maerl beds.
- Success in the field testing of several techniques and tools (e.g., Image acquisition via mobile platforms and sediment profiling, image processing via dedicated software, and O2 sediment microprofiling) developed within both JERICO-FP7 and JERICO-NEXT.
Bay of Biscay: Nazare Canyon
- Involved JRAPs: JRAPs #4 & 6
- Success in the implementation of a high-resolution model with data assimilation able to describe the energetic dynamics and coastal ocean impacts of this long submarine canyon.
- Progress in understanding the crucial importance of real-time monitoring infrastructures (fixed platforms, HF radars) to the characterization and operational forecasting of coastal ocean areas marked by the presence of submarine canyons, view the energetic and short spatial scale processes that are associated with these topographic features and the impacts canyons promote on larger domains of the coastal ocean.
- Progress in understanding the dominant processes of subinertial dynamics in the Nazare Canyon area of influence, contributing to define the main components of a real-time monitoring system for this area.
Channel and North Sea
- Involved JRAPs: JRAPs #1, 4, 5
- Successful implementation of innovative (semi-)automated techniques for the monitoring of phytoplankton dynamics and C cycle in the English Channel and the North Sea - an extended shelf system influenced by multiple sources of human pressure and contrasting hydrodynamical conditions
- Some of these methods were compared with traditional laboratory analysis which helped to better address the added value of innovative techniques in terms of improving the spatial and temporal resolution (both in surface and in the water column), making it possible to consider functional and, sometimes, even taxonomical characterization of phytoplankton communities composition as well as photo-physiology, at high resolution, in almost real-time.
- New insights into the seasonality of the spatial distribution of delta partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO2) measured continuously on ships of opportunity at a regional scale in the North Sea, and the relation between marine sinks of CO2 with high total chlorophyll a fluorescence.
- Automated techniques made it possible to characterize the size and functional composition of phytoplankton communities (from pico- to microphytoplankton) through the main bloom episodes including outburst of potential HABs as Pseudo-nitszchia spp. and Phaeocystis globosa (characterized as high or low red fluorescence nano-eukaryotes: Nano high and Low FLR) from the Eastern English Channel (EEC) towards the southern North Sea, in international cross-border (UK, FR, BE, NL) common research cruises, following the spatial and temporal succession of spring blooms.
- There is a need to increase the combined implementation of innovative and reference techniques both on current monitoring of discrete stations as well as in continuous automated measurements performed on cruises and ships of opportunity (as FerryBoxes), in order to increase the spatial and temporal resolution of the surveys of the different eco-hydrodynamic regions of the area.
Kattegat and Skagerrak
- Involved JRAPs: JRAPs #1, 3, 5, 6
- Harmful algae, phytoplankton diversity and abundance were observed in near real time at an aquaculture site on the Swedish west coast. In situ imaging flow cytometry combined with machine learning and wireless communications provided data every 20 minutes.
- Data from HF radar, FerryBox, research vessels and oceanographic buoys were used together with results from the 3D-NEMO Nordic ocean circulation model and remote sensing to describe the Kattegat-Skagerrak system.
- Data from a FerryBox system revealed, as expected, the occurrence of strong concentration gradients reflecting progressive dilution along the South-North transect and highlighted harbours areas (Oslo and Kiel) as hotspots for some chemical compounds.
- Microbial molecular markers representing bacterial species and genes were used to identify hydrocarbon pollution or high nutrient loads.
- Barcoding of phytoplankton and bacteria revealed previously unknown diversity in the pelagic communities (see deliverable D3.8).
- Carbon fluxes and carbonate system variability in the Skagerrak/Kattegat region is primarily driven by changes in salinity resulting from the balance of freshwater inputs from riverine and Baltic sources and saline waters from the Atlantic Ocean.
- Involved JRAPs: JRAPs #1, 5, 6
- Different technologies for phytoplankton research have been successfully evaluated in the Baltic Sea. Operational monitoring of phycoerythrin fluorescence started after in-depth study during JRAP1, which identified different origins of this signal. To study filamentous cyanobacteria blooms, various sensors were tested and they were largely complementary. New absorption method seems to provide reliable estimates for Chlorophyll-a concentration, but still lacks automated maintenance procedures. Better understanding was obtained on the range of conversion factor between electron transport rate (measured with fluorescence induction) and carbon fixation rate, as well as of the reasons behind this variability.
- Carbonate system components of the Baltic Sea showed large seasonal variability indicating high impact of biological activity for pH and pCO2. Alkalinity of the Baltic Sea is difficult to model from other carbonate system components and online sensors are required to understand its variability.
- The joint studies between different (multinational) research groups using different technologies provided good know-how exchange and should be encouraged. As well, multidisciplinary research efforts, including physics, chemistry, biology and modelling, should be encouraged, to gain knowledge on the environmental challenges more in detail.
- Involved JRAPs: JRAPs #1, 3, 6
- The Norwegian Sea plays a major role as an area where potentially highly polluted waters from the North Sea mix with water transported from the North Atlantic Ocean. This water is then transported into the Arctic region. Analysis of the transport pathway of waterborne contaminants along the Norwegian coast was instrumental for assessing the spatial range of contaminants with different properties and address questions regarding exposure of the Arctic.
- 42 currently used pesticides in Europe, 5 artificial sweeteners and 11 pharmaceuticals and personal care products were targeted during the study. Several compounds were detected in the Norwegian Sea, including current use pesticides, artificial food additives and some pharmaceuticals. Their presence in this coastal area, and also in high-latitude more open waters, highlight the potential for these contaminants to undergo long range transport with marine currents.
- Seasonal variability in temperature in the coastal area (up to a 15 ˚C differential between summer and winter depending on latitude) is a large driving force on carbonate system variability, including a decrease in surface water fCO2 due to lower wintertime temperatures as well as the uptake of atmospheric CO2 as water cools during its northward journey from the North Atlantic to the Arctic Ocean.
- In addition, a focal point was the improvement of systems that provides knowledge for the transport of parasites and harmful algae in the Norwegian Sea coastal area. Here the observations by FerryBoxes, fixed stations as well as repeated transects were used to validate and improve numerical model simulations.
Mediterranean Sea: Ligurian to Ibiza channel
- Involved JRAPs: JRAPs #1, 4, 6
- Major investigation effort was led in the Liguro-Provencal area and the Catalan Margin to study the variability of the Northern current through the combination of independent and complementary observational platforms. The dynamics of the boundary currents were studied to identify the interplay between various forcings (remote, thermohaline and wind), the generation of mesoscale and submesoscale instabilities, and data blending and assimilation techniques were investigated.
- Major results have shown a clear correlation between hydrographic changes led by climatic interannual variability and the community composition of phytoplankton and zooplankton. The role of (sub)mesoscale processes have shown to modulate biochemical processes and to locally enhanced marine biomass productions/accumulation.
- The multiplatform observing system in the NW Mediterranean Sea, combined with growing centralized frameworks of data management and distribution, i.e. Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service and SeaDataNet/SeaDataCloud, will provide the basis for an extended European coastal infrastructure.
Mediterranean Sea: Adriatic Sea
- Involved JRAPs: JRAPs #5 & 6
- During the project, important steps forward have been made on the development of capabilities to integrate new kinds of experimental data and oceanographic models to support ecosystem management. The implementation of an Adriatic oceanographic model assimilating surface current from coastal radar and temperature profiles from fishing vessels (FOOS fleet) has been developed and tested, providing encouraging results. Surface currents from coastal radars were integrated with results from drifter deployments to investigate zones of recruitment for small pelagic fishes, highlighting the role of remote areas in supporting the ecological role of these environments.
- One year of high frequency data of sea surface pCO2 was successfully gathered at a fixed station in the northernmost Adriatic. Results highlighted how the biological CO2 uptake during phytoplankton blooms was able to keep the central basin a strong CO2 sink not only in winter, when low temperatures favor CO2 dissolution, but through most of the year, even when temperatures raised above 25°C.
- The work carried on so far highlighted the potentiality of the area, where historical data and many observational systems are available to support both ecosystem management and advanced marine researches. On the other hand, they pointed out the need for integration of the existing facilities and observational systems also at a trans-border level to address the climate and ecological challenges facing this basin.
Mediterranean Sea: Cretan Sea
- Involved JRAPs: JRAPs #2 & 6
- An interesting case of how the additional assimilation of glider profiles and FerryBox observations used in the OSE experiment is beneficial for the Aegean Sea forecasting system in terms of reducing the system biases. This improved the sea surface salinity model bias over the south Aegean (north of Crete and south of 37°N).
- In the Cretan Sea, the vertical migration of mesopelagic organisms (macroplanktonic and micronektonic) was observed by acoustical means for almost 2.5 years in the epipelagic and mesopelagic layers. The observed organisms were categorized into four groups according to their migration patterns which appeared to occur at diel and seasonal scale. The variability of the migration patterns was inspected in relation to the physical and biological environmental conditions of the study area. Stratification of the water column does not act as a barrier for the vertical motion of the strongest migrants that move up to 400 m every day. Instead, changes in light intensity (lunar cycle, daylight duration, cloudiness) and the presence of prey and predators seem to explain the observed daily, monthly and seasonal.
This report clearly demonstrates how the consortium of the project is willing to progress on monitoring strategies in several JERICO studies (besides the simulation experiments for transport studies, the analysis of search radius from contaminant sources and the use of covariance in highly relevant low-concentration persistent contaminants, use of multi-functional sensors, etc.); despite the difficulty and time-consuming activity of operating both fixed and mobile platforms working in the highly dynamic complex and densely utilised coastal areas. By progressing on the integration of scientific fields, it also shows the benefit of operating several platforms types (fixed & mobile, at sea, remote, & numerical). For instance, we can emphasize what deployments in JRAPs have proved:
- JRAP #1: interest in deploying complementary observing systems for algal blooms to get information interoperable at EU level.
- JRAP #2: success in monitoring highly dynamic benthic ecosystems.
- JRAP #3: possibility to successfully perform monitoring of contaminants in an interoperable manner.
- JRAP #4: the highly resolved low-cost sensor and mooring deployments for specific transport or contaminant studies, which shows the intent to be cost-efficient. The complementarity of remote + at sea and numerical systems.
- JRAP#5: coastal carbon fluxes and biogeochemical cycling: The relatively large variability of conditions keeps being a challenge for sensor developers, with necessary periodic calibration needs that are possible to tackle as shown.
- JRAP#6: makes a strong case of the need for in-situ data vs models, in particular for coastal processes.
A vision: a possible geographical structure of JERICO-RI per region and site
As a consequence, JERICO-RI already proved his capability to gather information and tools to qualify and quantify processes, their scales, related challenges and the possible solution to progress on. As a next step, in agreement with regional stakeholder, JERICO-RI should develop regional forum/center to share information (data and products), expertises, practices, solution and training in line with regional purposes to support scientists and regional stakeholders. This would support application of policies and regulations, based on applied collaborations between scientists and other stakeholders to tackle common societo, environmental and scientific questions from local to regional scales.
According to the monitoring purposes in regions and sites, the need of integration in scientific fields is diverse and JERICO-NEXT presented only a first steps. In the future, JRAPs, TNA & regions should engage with outermost regions where regional projects take place and could be liaised with JERICO RI to better connect these regions in the coastal observing RI landscape. Because of these considerations, the consortium progressed towards regional integrated coastal observatories and preliminary elements are presented in chapter 4.
A main lesson learned is that societal challenges and priorities at the regional level are important elements for the structuring of a coastal observing system. Therefore, a key challenge for the future is to improve regionalisation of the observatories for a better understanding of region-specific processes and an improved fit-for-purpose of the JERICO-RI. Furthermore, the observatories need to be consolidated in terms of performance, reliability and variables to optimally address and answer to key regional and pan-European environmental challenges. The two above-mentioned aspects are the integration challenge that the consortium wishes to tackle by implementing a regional structure of JERICO-RI.
The structuring process will be challenging because coastal observatories are not operated by the same organisations and therefore may have differing objectives and means of operation (financial, logistical, etc.). Based on these differences, we have proposed that the coastal observing systems in JERICO-RI can be structured hierarchically in which all sizes and types of coastal observatories can function in JERICO-RI in an integrated and mutually beneficial way. This will be reported in deliverable D1.4. This way towards a regional structuring of JERICO-RI is included in the proposal for the 3rd project of the JERICO series of projects, JERICO-S3, selected for funding during 4 years and to start in early 2020. With regards to the WP4 of the present project, the final deliverable: D4.5 is in progress to report results of each of the six JRAP activities and will be available by Sept. 2019 on the JERICO-RI website.