Improvement of the national monitoring program for the Gulf of Riga, providing recommendations for a new supplemented methodology, including the use of several data collection methods, determination and characterization of the environment (1.1.1.2/VIAA/4/20/733)

“Postdoctoral Research Support” project research application

Improvement of the national monitoring program for the Gulf of Riga, providing recommendations for a new supplemented methodology, including the use of several data collection methods, determination and characterization of the environment (1.1.1.2/VIAA/4/20/733)

Action program of the European Union fund “Growth and employment” 1.1.1. of the specific support objective “To increase the research and innovative capacity of Latvian scientific institutions and the ability to attract external funding by investing in human resources and infrastructure” 1.1.1.2. research application of the project “Postdoctoral Research Support”. Improvement of the national monitoring program for the Gulf of Riga, providing recommendations for a new supplemented methodology, including the use of several data collection methods, determination and characterization of the environment (1.1.1.2/VIAA/4/20/733)

Research application Improvement of the national monitoring program for the Gulf of Riga, providing recommendations for a new supplemented methodology, including the use of several data collection methods, determination and characterization of the environment (1.1.1.2/VIAA/4/20/733) (“Nacionālās monitoringa programmas uzlabošana Rīgas līcim, sniedzot rekomendācijas jaunai papildinātai metodoloģijai, ieskaitot vairāku datu ieguves metožu izmantošanu, apvelinga noteikšanu un raksturošanu”) will be implemented at the Latvian Institute of Aquatic Ecology (LIAE). The aim of the research project is to develop and improve skills and competences, to acquire new knowledge in other disciplines, in order to increase the scientific capacity of the post-doctoral PhD candidate Māris Skudra, as well as LIAE and Latvian researchers in general, outlining new perspectives of research activities and new directions of research. The scientific goal of the project is to determine the occurrences of upwelling, characterize them and assess their impact on the environmental condition of the coastal regions of the Gulf of Riga by applying previously unused data acquisition methods in the Gulf of Riga (e.g. “smart buoys”, satellite data, model data, glider). The purpose of the research includes the acquisition of new knowledge in order to be able to create new methodology and services, thus improving the national marine monitoring program.

The scientific aim corresponds to the goal of the Smart Specialization Strategy of the Republic of Latvia, as it increases the innovation capacity (improvement of the monitoring program thanks to new and innovative methodology) and is related to technological progress in the national economy (new data extraction methods). The results will be published in scientific publications and used to create a new methodology.

28.04.2021. Research application progressActivity No. 2 – Riga Gulf model data
Together with a cooperation partner Tallinn University of Technology (TALTECH), the GETM – General Estuarine Transport Model model used in the study has been defined within the framework of virtual mobility. The main characteristics of the model have been determined – boundaries, resolution, vertical layers, equations describing natural processes, parameterization and other necessary input data – the initial state from the Copernicus Marine Service for the re-analysis period 1989-2015; meteorological data from the atmospheric forecast model HIRLAM; horizontal boundary conditions of the model from the climatological values in Kattegat and the observed water level fluctuations at the Gothenburg station, as well as the resulting parameters of the model – for example, water surface temperature and current components in the Gulf of Riga in combination with 3D thermohaline fields.
In May 2021 a detailed overview of the model’s development activities and main features will be developed, while in June 2021 ready model code is planned to be presented.

Research application progress (30.06.2021.) Activity No. 1 – Measurements and data collection
Together with cooperation partner Ventspils University of Applied Sciences (Ventspils Augstskola), the first satellite data from LANDSAT and SENTINEL on the temperature distribution in the Gulf of Riga for the period from 2010 to the present (May-September) have been obtained. Together with a cooperation partner Skulte Port Authority, a smart buoy has been placed near the Skulte Port, which collects various data characterizing the water, including temperature, which is important for the needs of the project. On 31.03.2021. a seminar was held at LIAE on the smart buoy system (operation, parameters, peculiarities, etc.) and the planned measurements with a glider in the Gulf of Riga. Based on the prepared measurement and data collection plan for 2021, on 29.04., 27.05, and 10.06., the first field works – probe measurements on the S, SW and W coasts of the Gulf of Riga have been carried out.

Activity No.2 – Gulf of Riga model data
Virtual mobility has been completed with cooperation partner Tallinn University of Technology within the framework of which work was carried out on the development of the Gulf of Riga model. Currently, the model has been developed and the initial results of the model are available, further data processing and analysis is underway.

Research application progress 02.12.2021. Activity No. 1 – Measurements and data collection

At the moment all satellite data from LANDSAT-7, LANDSAT-8 and SENTINEL-3 on temperature distribution in the Gulf of Riga for the period from 2010 to the present (May-September) have been obtained with the cooperation partner Ventspils University of Applied Sciences. The smart buoy located near the port of Skulte together with the cooperation partner Skulte Port Authority continues to collect data, but the temperature data for the period of interest (May-September 2021) was obtained intermittently due to technical problems. 2021 data acquisition continued in field work – measurements and sample collection in the Gulf of Riga took place on 06.07. (in the D part of the gulf), 13.07. (Coast of Gulf A), 02.-06.08. (entire area of the gulf) and 17.08.2021 (on the SW coast of the gulf).

Activity No.2 – Gulf of Riga model data

A model of the Gulf of Riga has been developed with cooperation partner Tallinn University of Technology. The results are available starting from year 2010. Currently, data processing is underway and options for obtaining additional data from the model are being considered.

Activity No. 3 – Development of project results

The first results from the water samples collected during the field work (see above) have been processed and obtained (probe data and water chemical samples). The first results with examples have been distributed on social media platforms and/or presented at public events (see next activity). Active work continues on the processing of acquired satellite data and the processing, interpretation and preparation of model results so that the obtained results can be later presented at conferences and submitted in the form of scientific articles.

Activity no. 4 – Project monitoring, management and dissemination of project results and activities

29.06.2021 – During the LIAE Scientific Council meeting the first progress report of the PostDoc project was presented.

05.08.2021 – participation in the “Environment Day” event at Liepāja beach with a presentation on what upwelling is (formation conditions, main characteristics, significance, etc.);

17.08.2021 – participation in the radio program “Zināmais nezīnāmajā”, the recording of the program can be found in the archive of “Latvijas Radio”;

21.08.2021 – presentation of the project results at the Harbour Festival in Zvejniekciem. All interested parties were told about the operation of smart buoys, the measurements performed and the visual representation of the results, as well as about the peculiarities of upwelling.

Research application progress 21.03.2022. Activity No. 1 – Measurements and data collection

At this moment the processing of satellite data (LANDSAT-7, LANDSAT-8 and SENTINEL-3) on the temperature distribution in the Gulf of Riga for the period from 2010 to the present (May-September) has practically ended. From a total of 562 satellite images processed, 81 images, which have even the slightest overturning signal (reduced water surface temperature in coastal areas) were selected. This number may decrease slightly, as the impact of clouds in 2017, 2020 and 2021 remains to be analyzed (some examples can be seen in the LIAE Facebook profile posts).

The smart buoy located near the port of Skulte together with the cooperation partner (Skulte Port Authority) continued to collect the water temperature data necessary for the project, but on February 23 the data transmission was interrupted. Smart buoy maintenance work is scheduled in the near future so that data collection can resume and temperature data will be available again at the start of the summer season (the most important time point for the project).

Activity No.2 – Gulf of Riga model data

A model of the Gulf of Riga has been developed with a cooperation partner (Tallinn University of Technology). The results are available starting from year 2010. Data processing is currently underway – selection, comparison with satellite data and in-situ measurements, visualization, adaptation of results for the needs of publications, conferences, etc.

Activity No. 3 – Development of project results

All results from 2021 have been processed for water samples collected during field work (probe data and chemical/biological water samples). Results with examples have been shared on social network platforms and/or presented at public events. Active work continues on the processing, interpretation and preparation of all obtained data in such a way that the obtained results can be later presented at conferences and in the form of publications. Theses have been approved for participation in the international conference (4th Baltic Earth Conference, Jastarnia, Hel Peninsula, Poland; https://baltic.earth/events/087774/index.php.en). Scientific literature has been collected and work on writing the first publication has begun. The current planned title is “Upwelling characteristics in the Gulf of Riga (Baltic Sea) – multiple data source approach”

Activity no. 4 – Project monitoring, management and dissemination of project results and activities

09.12.2021. – online event for high school students on how to come up with a scientific research idea. The title of the lecture “How to arrive at a research/ project idea?”. Interested parties were told about the operation of smart buoys, measurements, their usefulness in moments when it is not possible to obtain data with field work, as well as how to get from an idea to its implementation in practice (the program sent by the organizers of the event can be found in the “Results documents” section). 17.12.2021 – During the LIAE Scientific Council meeting the second progress report of the PostDoc project was presented.

Research application progress 01.09.2022. Activity No. 1 – Measurements and data collection

At this moment the processing of satellite data (LANDSAT-7, LANDSAT-8 and SENTINEL-3) on the temperature distribution in the Gulf of Riga from 2010-2021 has practically ended. Satellite data for year 2022 (May-July) have been obtained and will be processed (also for August and September).

The smart buoy located near Skulte together with a cooperation partner (Skulte Port Authority) has resumed its measurements with independent data acquisition from June 1 2022, after a break and maintenance work.

2022 data acquisition in field continues – measurements and sample collection in the Gulf of Riga took place on 13.07. (in part A of the gulf), 14.-19.08. (entire gulf area), 21.08. (D coast of gulf).

Activity No.2 – Gulf of Riga model data

Currently, data processing/analysis continues with an emphasis on those model data or results that correspond to the observed and detected cases of upwelling in the Gulf of Riga in the period from 2010-2022.

Activity No. 3 – Development of project results

Active work continues on the processing of all data obtained in 2022 and determination of results (probe data and chemical/biological samples of water), interpretation and preparation so that the obtained results can be later presented at conferences and submitted in the form of publications. Work continues on writing the 1st publication. The planned title is “Upwelling characteristics in the Gulf of Riga (Baltic Sea) – multiple data source approach”. Consultations have been carried out with LIAE colleagues on the potential design, content and timing of the 2nd publication. It will focus on years 2021 and 2022 for the collected water samples in the upwelling zone and outside it, as well as the course and dynamics of biological processes in these regions (upwelling zone and outside).

Activity no. 4 – Project monitoring, management and dissemination of project results and activities

28.06.2022 – a press release was distributed to the news agency LETA about the first results of the project;

08.07.2022 – The third progress report of the PostDoc project was presented at the LIAE Scientific Council meeting;

25.07.2022 – LIAE Facebook page published a short video of the 2022 upwelling “hunt” and sample collection from July 13;

13.08.2022 – poster presentation of the smart buoy system and operation at the Harbour Festival in Zvejniekciems. All interested parties had the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the operation of the smart buoy in Skulte, the measurements performed and the visual representation of the results.

Research application progress 18.01.2023. Activity No. 1 – Measurements and data collection

The basic processing of the satellite data (from Sentinel-3, Level-2; Landsat 7 and Landsat 8) obtained with the cooperation partner (Ventspils University of Applied Sciences) on the temperature distribution in the Gulf of Riga from May-September of 2010-2022 has been completed. Satellite images that are valid and usable for publications will be adjusted according to needs;

The smart buoy located near the port of Skulte together with the cooperation partner (Skulte Port Authority) continues its work and collects data at 1 hour intervals;

Currently, all planned field work has been carried out – probe measurements were obtained, water chemistry and biological samples were taken in the Gulf of Riga;

Information on all measurements and data collection carried out so far during the project has been described in a report, the progress of all data processing carried out so far during the project has been described and all the obtained data have been collected in a common database file.

Activity No.2 – Gulf of Riga model data

Based on the data obtained from satellite data and field work, those model data and results that correspond to the observed and detected cases of upwelling in the Gulf of Riga and which will be suitable and useful for the planned publications are currently being selected and adjusted.

Activity No. 3 – Development of project results

  1. Work continues on the writing of the 1st publication entitled “Upwelling characteristics in the Gulf of Riga (Baltic Sea) – multiple data source approach” – completed analysis of satellite data and determination/analysis of water samples obtained during field work. Practically completed analysis of historical data and adjustment and interpretation of results for publication purposes;
  2. Since November 2022 work has been started in connection with the additionally planned publication, which will use the data obtained from the Skulte smart buoy on the currents and will focus on the characterization of microplastic transport in the territory of the Gulf of Riga, and how upwelling could potentially affect microplastic transport;
  3. work continues on the initially planned 2nd publication (currently third in the planned sequence) – a potential plan has been defined, the phytoplankton and zooplankton data obtained in the field have been analyzed. The publication will focus on years 2021 and 2022 and the collected water samples in and outside the upwelling zone and what the course and dynamics of biological processes are in these regions. In total we managed to collect chemical and biological samples in 3-4 cases.

The first two publications are planned to be submitted to one of MDPI publishers or similar journals, so that both publications can be published by June 30 2023 and achieve the performance indicators provided for in the project. Considering that the data was obtained for the purposes of the project and the planned third publication as late as August 2022, it is likely that this publication will be published after June 30 2023.

Activity no. 4 – Project monitoring, management and dissemination of project results and activities

Information was added in connection with the renewal of the project plan about those project activities that have had some deviation from the originally planned schedule or the approach has changed (with an emphasis on publications, their number and planned implementation time) on how to implement a certain project activity.

30.09.2022 – participation in the event “Researchers Night” organized by LIAE together with cooperation partners (https://www.facebook.com/events/371052518573811/?ref=newsfeed; https://www.facebook.com/lheilv/ posts/pfbid0ysDs8rWW3yyYUcNxXyFuSrKrjVJ23idVdMUxTBSoebDDnUrbpTTzM8Qnugp21NwMl). Among the various activities and topics, the visitors were introduced to what upwelling is, how it forms, how to detect it and what it looks like in nature, while presenting and talking about the results achieved in the project.

06.01.2023 – During the LIAE Scientific Council meeting the fourth progress report of the PostDoc project was presented.

Research application progress 02.05.2023. Activity No. 1 – Measurements and data collection

All performance indicators of this activity have been achieved according to the plan. The valid and usable data from the collected database will be adjusted according to the goals and needs of the publications.

Activity No.2 – Gulf of Riga model data

Currently, it is planned that the model data will be used as examples in the 1st publication (planned title: “Upwelling characteristics in the Gulf of Riga (Baltic Sea) – multiple data source approach”), but more emphasis on the model data will be presented in the 3rd publication, where individual cases of upwelling that were noted in field work are analyzed in more detail.

Activity No. 3 – Development of project results

  1. Successful participation in a local conference (81st International Scientific Conference of the University of Latvia, Riga, Latvia; March 15, 2023) with an oral presentation;
  2. Work continues on writing the 1st publication entitled “Upwelling characteristics in the Gulf of Riga (Baltic Sea) – multiple data source approach” – it is planned to complete the analysis of the remaining historical data by mid-May. The adjustment and interpretation of the other results for the purposes of publication is planned to be done in such a way that the scientific article can be submitted tentatively at the end of May;
  3. Since November 2022 work has been started in connection with the additional planned publication, which will use the data obtained during the project on the currents from the Skulte smart buoy and will focus on the characterization of microplastic transport in the territory of the Gulf of Riga, and how upwelling could potentially affect microplastic transport. The planned title of the publication is “Citizen science supported study sets baseline for micro- and mesoplastic pollution data in Baltic Sea and Gulf of Riga beach environment” – currently the results on the currents obtained during the project from the Skulte smart buoy and the methodology of data acquisition is described, the discussion part is also written about the potential influence and importance of currents in the transport of microplastics in the Gulf of Riga. Together with co-authors it is planned to submit the publication in the journal “Frontiers in Marine Science” approximately at the end of May/beginning of June;
  4. Work continues on the 3rd publication – a plan has been defined, the phytoplankton and zooplankton data obtained in the field work have been analyzed. The publication will focus on water samples in and outside the upwelling zone and what the course and dynamics of biological processes are in these regions in 2021 and 2022. Regarding these cases of upwelling, the results of the model will also be analyzed in more detail.
    The first two publications were planned to be submitted to one of MDPI publisher or equivalent journals, but this plan has now been changed to eliminate the risk of not being cited in the Scopus or Web Of Science databases (following articles that MDPI-published journals are considered “predatory” magazines). The third publication will be published after June 30 2023, but this does not affect the number of achievable performance indicators (2 publications) in this section provided for in the project plan;
  5. The Methodology and Recommendations are planned to be completed by June 2023.

Activity no. 4 – Project monitoring, management and dissemination of project results and activities

06.01.2023 – During the LIAE Scientific Council meeting the fourth progress report of the PostDoc project was presented (originally planned for December).

26.01.2023 – An abstract was submitted for participation in a local conference (81st International Scientific Conference of the University of Latvia, Riga, Latvia; March 15, 2023).

Information was added in connection with the renewal of the project plan about those project activities that have had some deviation from the originally planned schedule or the approach has changed (with an emphasis on publications, their number and planned implementation time) on how to implement a certain project activity.

Research application progress 30.06.2023.

Activity No. 1 – Measurements and data collection

All performance indicators of this activity have been achieved according to the plan. The valid and usable data from the collected database were adjusted according to the goals and needs of the publications.

Activity No.2 – Gulf of Riga model data

All performance indicators of this activity have been achieved according to the plan. Model data were used as examples in publication 1 (titled: “Upwelling characteristics in the Gulf of Riga (Baltic Sea) – multiple data source approach”).

Activity No. 3 – Development of project results

a) On June 23 2023 the 1st publication entitled “Upwelling characteristics in the Gulf of Riga (Baltic Sea) – multiple data source approach” was submitted to the journal “Frontiers in Marine Science”;

b) On June 30 2023 the 2nd publication entitled “Citizen science supported study sets baseline for micro- and mesoplastic pollution data in Baltic Sea and Gulf of Riga beach environment” was submitted to the journal “Frontiers in Marine Science”;

c) Methodology on how to supplement the existing monitoring program with data obtained using new or previously unused methods and Recommendations on how to improve the existing monitoring program by supplementing it with new data completed in June 2023.

Therefore, all performance indicators of this activity have been achieved according to the plan.

Activity no. 4 – Project monitoring, management and dissemination of project results and activities

19.06.2023 – During the LIAE Scientific Council meeting the fifth and final progress report of the PostDoc project was presented.

20.06.2023 – a press release was distributed to the news agency LETA about the main results of the project in connection with upwelling in the Gulf of Riga.

By July 15 2023 according to the conditions of the project, the final report of the project will be prepared and submitted with all the necessary information, while all other performance indicators of this activity have been achieved according to the plan.

About the project

Project start date: 01.01.2021.

Project end date: 30.06.2023.

Budget: 111,504.90 EUR

Financier

EU fond action programme “Growth and Employment”

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