Transport pathways, exchange and dispersal in the Wadden Sea

Theme days
Wednesday, 07 February 10:00
National Museum of Ethnology, 1, Steenstraat, Oude Morsch, Leiden, South Holland, Netherlands
2312 BS, Netherlands

NCK symposium: Transport pathways, exchange and dispersal in the Wadden Sea

Research in recent years has demonstrated that the Wadden Sea features a high temporal variability and spatial heterogeneity in the transport of particles, freshwater, and dissolved or suspended matter. This variability is clearly observed in the transport time scales. The fact that the system cannot be considered as statistically steady poses a challenge for the quantification of the exchanges of materials such as nutrients, pollutants, sediment and microplastics between the tidal basins, and between the Wadden Sea and North Sea. Yet, recent numerical modelling and field measurements have provided a deeper understanding of how the Wadden Sea works, even opening the prospect for novel operational transport models, for example, based on Machine-Learning techniques.

In this symposium, we bring together researchers from various universities and institutes to provide a comprehensive overview of the state-of-the-art knowledge on transport modelling in the Wadden Sea and to identify lacunae in our understanding. The latter aspect receives special attention during the closing discussion, where possible new avenues of research will be explored.

Organizers: Theo Gerkema (NIOZ, Yerseke) and Matias Duran-Matute (TU/e)

Financially supported by NCK and NWO-ENW.


09:30 - 10:15 Registration and coffee
10:15 - 10:30 Opening
Chair: NN  
10:30 - 11:00 Hans Burchard (IOW):
The physical oceanography of the Wadden Sea
11:00 - 11:30 Jeancarlo Fajardo Urbina (TU/e):
Lagrangian transport in the Dutch Wadden Sea: results from multi-decadal simulations
11:30 - 12:00 Siren Rühs / Erik van Sebille (UU):
Simulating surface plastic dispersal in the Wadden Sea / Preliminary results of a drifter release experiment in the western Wadden Sea
12:00 - 12:30 Johan van der Molen (NIOZ):
Potential micro-plastics dispersal and accumulation in the North Sea, with application to the MSC Zoe incident
12:30 - 13:30 Lunch
Chair: NN  
13:30 - 14:00 Aditi Mitra (NIOZ):
Flushing age of the Dutch Wadden Sea, based on a multi-decadal model simulation
14:00 - 14:30 Stuart Pearson (TUD):
Sediment connectivity: analyzing coastal sediment pathways using Network Analysis Techniques
14:30 - 15:00 Vera Sidorenko (AWI):
Oyster larvae pathways and connectivity between Marine Protected Areas in the German Bight
Chair: Hans Burchard (IOW) 
15:00 - 15:30 Panel discussion: Direction of future research
Speakers & audience
15:30 - 16:30 Drinks


Practical information:

Location: Wereldmuseum Leiden (previously Museum Volkenkunde), Steenstraat 1, Leiden (This is a 6-minute walk from Leiden Central Station)
Date: 7 February 2024, 10:00-16:30
Participation free, but registration required (before Sunday January 28th). Please note that there is a limited number of places available (first come, first served), so if you registered but are no longer able to join, please send an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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