Watershed modelling is a powerful tool to estimate the drained water from the precipitation areas until its evacuation in the open ocean. Traditionally, these kind of numerical models were used to simulate single catchment applications and their first task was to delineate the watershed limits. Recently, in order to operate simultaneously all the watersheds of a defined territory developments were implemented in the MOHID Land model (Brito et al., 2015), thus moving from the traditional single catchment application to multi-catchment simulations. The MOHID Land model, part of the MOHID Modelling System (; Neves, 2013), is a physically-based, spatially distributed, continuous, variable time step model for the water and property cycles in inland waters. The MOHID Land model estimates river outflows including the associated water properties such as temperature, oxygen, sediments and nutrient concentrations.

Previous MOHID Land applications (Brito et al., 2015) for the Iberian Peninsula allowed the estimation of the natural flow and associated properties of the fresh water running in the water lines and their evolution until reaching the coastal area. Through recent developments in the code, the MOHID Land model is able to simulate reservoir dynamics ( This development will be implemented and tested in several rivers during the LAMBDA project.


Task 1.1: Inventory of main rivers discharge (month 1-3): An inventory of the main river data sources in the CMEMS IBI and NWS areas containing relevant information about the available hydrographic stations for validation obtained by the EMODnet and PREVIMER projects and by local experts information and not yet made available by international initiatives (D1.1).

Task 1.2: Land-marine boundary conditions data exchange (month 1-4): CMEMS IBI and NWS MFCs will share within the consortium the current land boundary conditions used on their systems (M1.1).

Task 1.3: Watershed data gathering for numerical models modelling (month 1-3): During this period the data needed for building the numerical domain for the new watershed model coverage will be collected (M1.2).

Task 1.4: Watershed modelling (month 3 to 20): The watershed modelling action will consist in the production, distribution among the consortium and reporting of several modelling scenarios (Table 1). LAMBDA river flows V1 will take in consideration the advice given by the MFCs operators and dam integration will be performed in several rivers of the Atlantic front.



In order to receive, validate, store and republish the time series data produced by the fresh water observations and fresh water modelling applications, a prototype software system will be designed and implemented during the project. The system will be based on components developed by AM in previous projects. The core components will be the following:

  • A proxy to simulate estuarine mixing based in river discharge and tidal conditions
  • A plugin-based software service which allows to easily add components to download data from river data providers;
  • A database to store data;
  • Algorithms for data validation;
  • A Web Service (e.g. Rest API) to provide the data stored to other users.

A proxy for estuarine mixing will be generated based on the river discharge along estuaries characteristics such as tidal prim and tidal harmonics obtained from global tidal models such as FES2012 (Carrère et al., 2012). This prototype will enable to provide tidally modified discharges and salinity concentrations similar to the ones obtained at the estuarine mouth instead of fresh water discharges. As a result, the watershed scenarios obtained in Activity 1 will be modified (LAMBDA river flows V0-M and LAMBDA river flows V1-M products), by the marine water mixing and tidal conditions passing from continuous discharges to intermittent discharges representing ebb-flood conditions.

A data validation procedure will be developed to demonstrate the quality of modelling results produced by Activity 1, comparing with field data from different sources (such as EMODnet Physics and PREVIMER databases) and using most common statistical indicators (e.g. modelled and measured averages, correlation, errors, deviations, Nash-Sutcliff efficiency, etc.). This system will be developed as an ACTION Server plugin.


Task 2.1: Development of plugin to download field data (month 1-12) (M2.1);

Task 2.2: Development of validation plugin (month 8-15) (M2.2);

Task 2.3: Website to show field data and watershed model results (month 1-12) (M2.3);

Task 2.4: Proxy system to simulate the estuarine mixing based on tidal prism, tidal conditions and river flow (month 1-12) (M2.4);

Task 2.5: Production of LAMBDA river flows V0-M (D2.1, month 13) and V1-M (D2.2, month 22) by using the proxy estuary system.



The LAMBDA river flow scenarios defined in Activity 1 and Activity 2 will serve to define the regional ocean model scenarios. The first two scenarios correspond to reference for comparison with the LAMBDA river flow scenarios. The first of these scenarios correspond with the Climatology scenario where only river flow climatologies will be used as boundary conditions and the second correspond with the Reference scenario where the land-marine boundary forcing correspond to the currently used by the CMEMS MFCs. Both boundary conditions scenarios will be applied in the regional ocean model for west Iberia (hereafter referred as PCOMS) and will serve as benchmark to compare with the LAMBDA boundary products.

The LAMBDA project land-marine scenarios to be tested will be:

  • Climatology: pure river climatologies;
  • Reference: NWS and IBI CMEMS MFCs current land-marine boundary conditions;
  • MOHID Land modelling results:
    • Natural flows (LAMBDA river flows V0)
    • Natural flows modified by the estuary proxy (LAMBDA river flows V0-M)
    • Biogeochemical discharge scenario (LAMBDA BGQ V0)
    • River dam controlled flows (LAMBDA river flows V1-M)

The LAMBDA boundary products will be implemented first as proof of concept (PoC) in the Portuguese Coast Operational Modelling System (hereafter referred as PCOMS, Mateus et al., 2012) that covers the western Iberia regional ocean for a minimum simulation period of two years before application in the CMEMS IBI and NWS MFCs


Task 3.1: Reference

Task 3.2: LAMBDA river flows V0

Task 3.3: LAMBDA river flows V0-M

Task 3.4: LAMBDA river flows V0

Task 3.5: LAMBDA river flows V0 BGQ

Task 3.6: LAMBDA river flows V1

Task 3.7: LAMBDA river flows V1-M



The impact of river runoff on those regional ocean CMEMS products will be evaluated by comparing the obtained salinity fields from each LAMBDA river flow scenario with the current forcing results. Since, in-situ measurements close to the coast are scarce and unreliable, innovative SMOS SSS products produced by BEC-ICM for this project can provide a robust source of salinity information for validation.

Currently, two different SMOS datasets are produced and made available by BEC: 9-day average L3 maps at 0.25x0.25º cylindrical grid is obtained by means of objective analyse of the retrieved SMOS SSS; daily L4 maps at 0.05ºx0.05º obtained by means of a fusion technique (Olmedo et al., 2016) which uses Sea Surface Temperature from OSTIA to improve the spatial and temporal resolution of the maps. To illustrate the current situation of the product, Figure 4 shows the average SSS field of the Mercator-Océan PSY2V4 North Atlantic solution and SMOS-BEC daily L4 product for the PCOMS domain during the period 2011-2012. Salinity gradients between both products are consistent offshore while the gradients in the SMOS-BEC product inshore are not fully developed.

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. Therefore, the choice of thresholds for the definition of the filters needs to be accurately tuned according to the region. On the other hand, gap-filling techniques like objective analysis currently being applied in BEC-ICM SSS products need to be adapted to the region of interest (correlation radii, choice of successive neighbourhood, etc.). These regional products generated during the project will be distributed through the BEC web server and linked to the LAMBDA project webpage.


Task 4.1: Validation of the model outputs with SMOS SSS data (1-6m) (D4.1): Comparison of regional ocean models and current SMOS SSS products. The study will focus in the inter-annual and seasonal variations. Results will be reported in a Technical Note and/or a scientific paper.

Task 4.2: Development of new SMOS SSS regional products (6-24m): Specific SMOS SSS products will be generated for the study areas with a first version on month 10 (M4.1) and a second version on month 22 (M4.2). A methodology description will be described in a Technical Note and/or a scientific paper (D4.2).

Task 4.3: Production and distribution of the new SMOS SSS regional products (18-24m) (D4.3): The product will be made available at the BEC-ICM server and linked to the LAMBDA webpage.



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. Expert evaluation will be performed in the following territorial waters:

  • Germany: HGZ
  • Ireland: MI
  • Portugal: MARETEC-IST
  • Spain: Puertos del Estado
  • UK: MetOffice

Local experts will aid to identify and gather the fresh water data sources in their respective countries for validation and implementation in the prototype software (Activity 2). HGZ and MI will be provided of the LAMBDA products for Germany and Ireland respectively, so they can implement their own test in their systems and perform inter comparison exercises.

Evaluation of CMEMS MFCs results using LAMBDA boundary conditions (month 17-20): local partners in Germany, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and UK will evaluate MFCs evolution when using the LAMBDA river flows V0 that will serve to improve the product in V1 (D5.2).


Task 5.1: Testing of LAMBDA river flows scenarios (month 10-22): Associated partners will have access to LAMBDA river flow products to evaluate the quality, provide guidance and implement these land-marine boundary conditions in their regional systems (D5.1).

Task 5.2: Development of new SMOS SSS regional products (6-24m): Specific SMOS SSS products will be generated for the study areas with a first version on month 10 (M4.1) and a second version on month 22 (M4.2). A methodology description will be described in a Technical Note and/or a scientific paper (D4.2).



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. This will also facilitate the promotion of the already available CMEMS services towards a wider audience and to catch new potential river products that can be considered for further evolution of the CMEMS services and products. One specific action will be to organize a workshop (e.g. splinter meeting/focused session) in one of the main European scientific events on river/coastal coupling (e.g. EGU, or GODAE COSS-TT workshop, or Hymex conference).

The LAMBDA project will work with CMEMS lead to assess options for developing further communication resources such as promotional dissemination material (e.g. leaflets and a project web page). The communication strategy will be tailored for a full range of potential users and uses (e.g. “ocean” and “land” operators). A video will be developed to promote the project and the impact of its results on the operational activity of communities targeted by the project. Communication strategy is also considering a scientific publication on the state of art and perspective of the solution as proposed and proofed by the project.


Task 6.1: Project webpage (month 1-24): including the information of the project developments and launching page to the project products (D6.1). Preliminary website by month 6 and continuously updated according project needs and communication strategy.

Task 6.2: Leaflets and video: Two versions of the leaflet are planned: a first version with project objectives (month 12; D6.2) and final version and the promotional video (month 24; D6.3) will describe the achieved results and the benefits for the different LAMBDA end users.

Task 6.3: Scientific outreach: CMEMS modelling solutions and project results will be disseminated in international conferences. Likewise, some of the most noticeable research results may be published in a common publication in peer-reviewed journals (D6.4).

Task 6.4: Stakeholders outreach: LAMBDA project will inform to other stakeholders using common WGs such as CMEMS user meetings, EuroGOOS regional groups, ICES WGs, etc.



The objective of this activity is to put in place mechanisms to ensure that the LAMBDA project meets its objectives and delivers its results and outputs on time, keeping an efficient communication flow between the partners. MARETEC-IST, as lead partner will be responsible for giving assistance to partners regarding the completion of Quarterly, Mid-Term and Final Project Reports and to serve as a link with the CMEMS Secretariat. IST will organize coordination meetings at least every 6 months by videoconferences where minutes will be prepared and the working plan updated. Partners will provide the lead partner with the required documentation for reporting to CMEMS and any other extra information in order to guarantee the correct implementation of the project. IST will also serve as contact point between CMEMS (including the operational sub-systems: TACs, MFCs and CIS) and the LAMBDA consortium and will enable the interaction between the project activities with CMEMS activities. Under this activity, the analysis and preparation of possible R&D transfer towards operational systems will be coordinated.