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The AgreenSkills AquaREA project : an innovative technique for measuring nutrient fluxes in water

Within the framework of the AgreenSkills mobility programme, the AquaREA project has led to the development of an innovative technique for measuring nutrient fluxes in water.
The eutrophication of aquatic environments remains a matter of major concern in a context of global warming, a growing world population and increasing fertiliser use. Efforts are currently being made to establish monitoring networks, to evaluate water quality or the efficacy of remedial measures, and to combine these networks with digital models, in warning systems for algal blooms, for example. Over and above simple measurements of concentration, the measurement of nutrient fluxes is essential to validate process representation in models, at the water-sediment interface, in particular. These fluxes fluctuate rapidly in shallow water, and the objective of the AquaREA project is to characterise their dynamics over the time scale of an hour.
An innovative measurement technique based on relaxed eddy accumulation, as used in micrometeorology, has been developed for this purpose. An AgroParisTech scientist based in the LEESU joint research unit spent a year working in a team from the Universität Koblenz-Landau in Germany. This extended stay made it possible to develop collaboration and enabled the researcher concerned to learn techniques for measuring flux based on turbulence and to demonstrate that it was theoretically possible to adapt the technique of relaxed eddy accumulation to aquatic environments. A prototype is now being developed for the measurement of nutrient fluxes. Through measurements at existing workshop sites, it should be possible to determine the most appropriate domain of use for this technique and to link the dynamics of nutrient fluxes to hydrological and meteorological conditions.

For more information
Bruno Lemaire, Christian Noss, Andreas Lorke (2017). Toward relaxed eddy accumulation measurements of sediment-water exchange in aquatic ecosystems. Geophysical Research Letters, 44 (17) : 8901-8909.
DOI : 10.1002/2017GL074625
Open access version on HAL-AgroParisTech

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