LAMBDA Project

LAnd-Marine Boundary Development and Analysis

The Project

The LAMBDA project aims to improve the CMEMS MFCs thermohaline circulation in coastal areas by a better characterisation of the land-marine boundary conditions, with special regard to the salinity fields, through exploring the capacities of watershed numerical modelling and its coupling to mesoscale regional ocean models. New Earth Observation sea surface salinity products and experts groups will evaluate the project products impact on ocean salinity fields.

Currently hydrological models are not generally coupled to coastal and regional ocean models because, even if regarded as a powerful and useful tool, they do not fully accomplish to estimate accurately the right volume of water reaching the coastal zone for many reasons including water management activities such as human consumption, irrigation, etc. For this reason, many coastal and ocean models continue to use river climatologies as boundary conditions for representing such an active boundary. Furthermore, continuous salinity observations in the coastal area are scarce and sensors are highly unreliable while current Earth Observation (EO) products for salinity poorly represents the coastal gradients.


The LAMBDA project will:

  • generate improved and standardised freshwater products flows and associated river inputs (including particulate and dissolved properties) in regional and coastal models;
  • test LAMBDA products in a regional ocean model and in CMEMS MFCs;
  • enhance the development of satellite salinity products to improve the quality of coastal products (i.e. specific algorithms);
  • explore the capacity of hydrological models to represent observed river outflows by implementing state-of-the-art models and including human management activities;
  • integrate the different time scales of river outflow (extreme events, flood-ebb and spring-neap tidal conditions, dry-wet years) by flexible interfaces;
  • benefit from local and regional knowledge provided by coastal experts that will evaluate and drive the evolution of the LAMBDA project through dedicated sessions in large scientific events.


Activity 1 – Fresh water modelling development

Objectives: The MOHID Land model estimates river outflows including the associated water properties such as temperature, oxygen, sediments and nutrient concentrations.

Activity 2 – Fresh water data validation, adaptation and distribution

Objectives: Activity 2 focus on designing and implementing a prototype software system which allows to receive, store, validate and publish observed and modelled time series data related with river discharges (flow and properties)

Activity 3 – Land-marine boundary ocean model scenarios testing

Objectives: This activity will implement the LAMBDA river flows scenarios in the PCOMS and CMEMS MFCs with the calendar described below. Each task will be followed by a report with guidance for implementation in CMEMS MFCs regional models

Activity 4 - Remote sensing validation by EO CMEMS products

Objectives: The main objective of this activity is to develop specific regional products for CMEMS IBI and NWS regions. A key issue in the development of SMOS processor is the definition of filtering criteria that if settled too restrictively can remove salinity gradients

Activity 5 – Local expertise evaluation

Objectives: The LAMBDA consortium counts with a set of local and regional experts that will aid to complete the CMEMS MFCs results and SMOS-BEC product verification by using their knowledge on coastal area features, processes and data available for their region

Activity 6 – Project Communication

Objectives: Outcomes from the present project would have high impact on the activities of communities with different focuses, i.e. in land and in sea, therefore dissemination and communication actions are important to promote harmonization and standardization of the adopted approach, formats, conventions, etc. as well as to bring together these two communities and let them benefit from each other experience

Activity 7 – Project Coordination and Management

Objectives: MARETEC-IST will coordinate the project activities and the timely delivery of the reports and products and keep fluent communication CMEMS to inform of the project progress. Project meetings will be hold every six months through videoconference. Deliverables of the activity include quarterly progress reports, a mid-term report and a final report

Data Portal

The Lambda Data Portal provides a web interface that allow users to view, query and download river data and metadata and related products, providing access to data that has been harmonised into interoperable formats (OGC standards).

The portal will be constantly updated during the project with new services and product.







For more information on the LAMBDA Project please contact:

IST – Instituto Superior Técnico Departamento de Engenharia Mecânica /     Mechanical Engineering Department
    Universidade de Lisboa
    Av. Rovisco Pais
    1049-001 Lisboa Portugal