Sediment sampling on the Belgica in March 2015 | 4DEMON

4 decades of Belgian marine monitoring

uplifting historical data to today's needs


The Belgian scientific community has, in the last four decades, built up considerable expertise in marine sciences (see Compendium Coast and Sea). Numerous scientific expeditions at sea have resulted in a vast quantity of scientific data related to different topics and important publications in the scientific literature about the marine environment of the Belgian Continental Shelf. Many valuable, historic data however still remain inaccessible to the larger scientific community, being available only on paper in various institutions. These sources are essential for understanding long-term changes in the quality of the marine environment. The 4DEMON project aims to centralise, integrate and valorise data on contamination, eutrophication and ocean acidification compiled during expeditions in the BCS over the last four decades, forming an important Belgian scientific heritage.

Van Mechelen: Old Cruise summary reports provide useful sampling information.
1000-points map: Map of 1970-1976 sampling grid.
In the first phase of the project an extensive data inventory will be created and relevant historic data and metadata will be searched for in archives and digitized when needed.
Continuous remote sensing chlorophyll a and turbidity data sets will aid the data interpretation and intercalibration as they have a much higher spatial and temporal resolution.


Sediment sampling on the Belgica in March 2015

Added on 17 Apr 2015
Sediment was sampled with a Van Veen grab on the Belgica cruise in March 2015 by J. Gauquie and B. Dewitte (ILVO).
Over the years, contaminants on sediment have been measured in different ways. For example, in the seventies the whole sample was measured while nowadays measurements take place only on the small fraction ( Additional sediment samples are collected during the Belgica cruise 2015/06 to perform analyses on different grain size fractions. These measurements will be used to test the best conversion allowing us to compare the pollution level over the years.

(Copyright: Hans Hillewaert)

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