QEST

Study of key aspects to determine environmental flows in estuaries.

Qest is funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation within the National R&D+i (2008) in effect between 2009 and 2012, the work carried out by  IH Cantabria on environmental flows in rivers, highlighted the importance of extending these studies to the estuarine zone, where the existence of a unique physical and ecological conditions, require the development of specific methodologies.

Among these critical points to be considered in these areas include:

the difficulty of the numerical models of transport and mixing of salinity for shallow estuaries function of total mixture

lack of biological models that quantify the response of species to salinity changes in the transitional waters of the Iberian Peninsula, facing the essential thresholding flow.

The project's main objective is to answer gaps identified within the Qest project creating a methodological approach based on hydraulic, hydrological and biological aspects.

To meet these objectives, the project involves the tasks detailed below:

  • Adaptation and validation of a two-dimensional transport and mixing model for saline for shallow estuaries dominated by tidal flow.
  • Development of biological models against salinity preference of target species, to predict the response in the distribution of the same against changes in salinity.
  • Analysis of the sensitivity of the main factors involved in the different aspects of the calculation process.
  • Development of a process for the integration of the biological component into the calculation of environmental flow regimes.
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