COHERENS Ecological modelling


COHERENS Ecological modelling

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COHERENS is a three-dimensional multi-purpose numerical model, designed for application in coastal and shelf seas, estuaries, lakes, reservoirs, ... The model is available as a free source code for the scientific community and can be considered as a tool for a better understanding of the physical and ecological processes and for the prediction and monitoring of waste material in shelf seas, the coastal zone and estuaries. Its ease of implementation across a range of computing platforms means that it is attractive to groups who have a sufficient modelling expertise and have need for sophisticated model products. Important advantages of the model are its transparency due to its modular structure and its flexibility because of the possibility to select different processes, specific schemes and different types of forcing for a particular application. The program structure allows users to perform process as well as predictive and operational setups without knowledge of the detailed model structure.

The ecological model is based on the North Sea Microplankton-Detritus Model (MPD), The model has been adapted to estuary conditions by adding phosphorous cycle, sediment processes and improving the light attenuation description. A nutrient tagging ability has been added to the model, to enable assessment of the relative importance of the different nutrient sources.

Spatial Coverage:


Scientific documentation:

Karen Timmermann, Stiig Markager, Karin E. Gustafsson, Streams or open sea? Tracing sources and effects of nutrient loadings in a shallow estuary with a 3D hydrodynamic–ecological model, Journal of Marine Systems, Volume 82, Issue 3, August 2010, Pages 111-121, ISSN 0924-7963,



Karen Timmermann, Aarhus University, Department of Bioscience

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