Action #2: Riverine input to the North Sea

Objectives: This task aims to compile data of river water runoff and composition from different ongoing measurements. The purpose of this analysis will be the creation of temporally and spatially explicit information about carbon and nutrient transport from land to the North Sea and the Channel that can be used as input values and/or boundary conditions for carbon and nutrient budgets. Collaboration with other RIs (especially DANUBIUS-RI) is central for this task. 

Action Lead and other Partners (with contact persons): HZG (Brix, Voynova, Kaiser), AWI (Fischer), DELTARES (Blauw), NIVA (King, Frigstad).

JS3 Platforms included: FerryBox Land Station Cuxhaven (HZG), Simon Stevin (VLIZ)

Other data sources and external partners for implementation: many state/country governments provide access to data from monitoring stations, e.g. France ( and, Germany (, Netherlands (!/nav/index/), Denmark (, and Norway (Vannmiljø ( Compiled databases/repositories are kept by e.g. NIOZ (Texel, Netherlands) and IfM (Hamburg, Germany).

Overall timetable of action: Dec 2020 – Aug 2022.

Description of action: This task aims to compile data of river water runoff and composition from different ongoing measurements. Due to their heterogeneity in spatio-temporal resolution, in the number and type of recorded parameters and metadata, and in the ease of access, harmonization of metadata and data quality control is needed. This task will therefore compile available information, enabling tracking, for example, the effects of land-use change and extreme events, as well as corresponding changes in estuarine and coastal biogeochemistry and their bottom-up consequences including changes in eutrophication status and phytoplankton production and biodiversity. Concentrated information of riverine inputs will also aid the improvement of descriptors of (coastal) ecosystem status. This work will make use of the collaboration efforts with DANUBIUS-RI and will also facilitate cooperation with the NW-MED PSS. This task will contribute to the identification of observational gaps in data availability and measurement efforts.

Best practices used or developed: Investigation of state-of-the-art BP with regard to metadata.

Data flows: Data sources will be compiled in a document and made available to all interested parties. The project will work towards a shared database, the structure of which is yet to be determined with guidance from WP6 and DANUBIUS-RI. 

Data QC routines: Issues regarding harmonization of units, timestamps, parameter codes, missing value place holders; screening of existing QC flags in the data; application of one (established) quality flag system to all data; where/if appropriate additional statistical QC following existing standards/ recommendations (e.g., will be noted.

Data management issues: given a large number of potential sources regular and consistent data acquisition cannot be predicted; a potential resulting database may be very large.

Expected results: easy to use inventory and access possibilities to harmonized river water discharge and composition data for the North Sea PSSs; common statement with regional DANUBIUS-RI sites/representatives on data exchange and standards.

Users of results: scientific community, other RIs (incl. DANUBIUS-RI), potentially government agencies/management

Dissemination of results: website (hosting either at HZG or through JERICO), communication/report of results to DANUBIUS-RI

Links: Links to other PSS (especially CHANNEL PSS, joint studies, shared best practices, merging data for pan – European products)

Link to other WP2 regarding cooperation with DANUBIUS-RI

Link with regional DANUBIUS-RI sites