The Monitoring programme is an initiative of W&Z and initiated in 1995 to increase and update the knowledge of the ecosystem in the Zeeschelde. Since then, researchers on a monthly basis measure the quality of the Zeeschelde and side rivers. They sail the tide dependent part of the Zeeschelde, Rupel, Nete and Dijle and take (water)samples on about twenty locations. These samples are tested on 20 parameters, like oxygen, carbon, nitrogen and phosphor, but also photosynthesis and plankton. This results in valuable information about the evolution in ecological state of this tidal river.

The monitoring in the OMES campaigns consists of 2 different samplings: the OMES monitoring and the VMM monitoring. Within the framework of MONEOS, the OMES data collection was analysed. There appeared to be a large overlay between OMES and VMM parameters, but techniques were somewhat different. OMES was sampling tide independent, VMM sampled tide dependent. To create a more efficient, integrated monitoring, a collaboration between VMM and OMES was necessary. Since 2009, the overlap in measurements for water quality was cleared. Both institutes now work together for the monitoring and the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) connects the data of VMM to the OMES database, so that it can be used to analyze water quality in the Scheldt. In the first campaigns of the month the water quality of the boundaries is measured by VMM, OMES is responsible for the extra campaigns during summer.

Three days a year, on 3 locations in the Scheldt (Kruibeke, Terhagen (Rumst), Schoonaarde (Dendermonde)), 13-hour campaigns are organised. The purpose of these campaigns is to monitor waterquality-, sedimentation-, phytoplankton- and current cycles during a tide.
Annually, a 4 hour-campaign is also executed around the GGG at Lippenbroek.

OMES already largely followed the guidelines in MONEOS. Occasionally, the program had temporal and spatial problems, like when the Rupel was badly sampled and when the sampling frequency during summer was insufficient to monitor the algal blooms.

From January 2009 on, several adaptations were made.

  1. Every monitoring campaign is divided into 3 sampling days: Monday (lower Zeescheldt), Tuesday (Rupel) and Wednesday (upper Zeescheldt). In the table, an overview of all stations is given.

     

    Code Location Schelde Recognition point km campaign 1 campaign 2 Ship
    1 grens boei 87 58 day 1 day 1 Scheldewacht
    2 Liefkenshoek boei 92 63 day 1 day 1 Scheldewacht
    3 Punt van Melsele boei 105 72 day 1 day 1 Scheldewacht
    4 Antwerpen ter hoogte van het Steen 79 day 1 day 1 Scheldewacht
    5 Kruibeke Veerpont 85 day 1 day 1 Scheldewacht
    5b Bazel Veer 89 day 1 day 1 Scheldewacht
    6 Steendorp ter hoogte van de kerk 94 day 1 day 1 Scheldewacht
    7 Temse brug 98 day 1 day 1 Scheldewacht
    13 Lippenbroek ter hoogte van GGG 103 day 2 day 2 Scaldis I
    14 Baasrode Veerponton 113 day 2 day 2 Scaldis I
    18 Dendermonde ponton Afd. Zeeschelde 122 day 3 day 3 Scaldis I
    19 Sint Onolfs ‘bocht van Damme’ 125 day 3 day 3 Scaldis I
    20 Appels veerpont 128 day 3 day 3 Scaldis I
    21 Uitbergen baanbrug 140 day 3 day 3 Scaldis I
    22 Wetteren baanbrug 145 day 3 day 3 Scaldis I
    23 Melle baanbrug 151 day 3 day 3 Scaldis I
      Location side river Recognition point km campaign 1 campaign 2 ship
    8 Niel (Rupel) Loskade  94 day 2 day 2 Scaldis I
    9 Boom (Rupel) veer 98 day 2 day 2 Scaldis I
    10 Terhagen (Rupel) kerk 102 day 2 day 2 Scaldis I
    11 Beneden-Nete Tussen Brug E19 – N1 105 day 2 day 2 Scaldis I
    12 Dijle estuarien voetgangersbrug 104 day 2 day 2 Scaldis I
      Boundaries Recognition point km campaign 1 campaign 2 ship
    17 Haven Zandvliet dokzijde sluis 65 VMM staalname Ecobe staalname no boat
    26 Durme voetveer Tielrode 114.2 VMM staalname Ecobe staalname no boat
    25 Dender tijhut achter Scheldesluis te Appels 136 VMM staalname Ecobe staalname no boat
    24 Bovenschelde sluizencomplex Merelbeke 167 VMM staalname Ecobe staalname no boat
    27 Dijle VMM punt 105 VMM staalname Ecobe staalname no boat
    28 Zenne VMM punt 105 VMM staalname Ecobe staalname no boat
    15 Grote Nete VMM punt   VMM staalname Ecobe staalname no boat
    16 Kleine Nete VMM punt   VMM staalname Ecobe staalname no boat
    1. Day 1: Lower Zeeschelde: departure in Antwerp, until station Grens, and back to Temse.
    2. Day 2: Rupel: Departure in Boom, upstream to Dijle and Nete. Downstream until Rupelmonde and Baasrode
    3. Day 3: Upper Zeeschelde: departure at Dendermonde, upstream until Melle.
  2. In summer (from april/may to September): frequency of measurements are raised from once per month to twice a month, as to better map algae blooms and other biological phenomena.