Marmara Sea Integrated Modeling System (MARMOD) Project

To determine the level of pollution entering the Marmara Region through discharges in order to ascertain the required nutrient level and to establish a Basin-based Environmental Management Plan proposal to ensure the Marmara Sea 'Good Environmental Status' criteria.

The Problem

Nutrient pollution such as nitrogen and phosphorus in the marine environment can cause the extreme overgrowth of marine algae in the surface waters, restricted light penetration, the limitation of photosynthesis and oxygen production due to  narrowing of the  upper oxygenated layer and the trapping of  creatures requiring oxygen to sustain life in this narrow zone. This change in the surface waters  also results in the depletion of oxygen in deeper waters since the excessive  nutrient intake subsequently increases the amount of living mass sinking to the bottom thereby increasing oxygen consumption in the lower water layers during disintegration.

Due to the extent of nutrient pollution in the Sea of Marmara over the past years, the area of abundant oxygen in the surface layer is now limited to 15-20 meters with a considerable decrease in oxygen levels in the bottom waters, being in some areas completely exhausted.

Methodology

The level of pollution entering the Marmara Region through discharges, i.e. the amount of nutrients, will be calculated by means of advanced ecosystem modeling studies. In the scope of the project, for the first time in Turkey, MARMOD will be indigenously developed as a marine pollution management model for a Turkish sea. The   MARMOD 3-D model will simulate the Sea of Marmara ecosystem interactions with the land, atmosphere and seabed as well as the influence of terrestrial inputs on the marine ecosystem. To date, scientific research data for the Sea of Marmara will be used to test the installation and reliability of the model. The MARMOD Data Bank will be created by compiling all the research information generated for the Sea of Marmara within the scope of the project. In addition, the MARMOD Knowledge Bank will be prepared from all scientific articles, project reports, theses and media news about the Marmara Sea with access to all information for scientific, administrative, specific sector or general purpose usage made available through the project website.

Expected impact

To initiate the Basin-based Environmental Management Plan, which will enable us to achieve the targets of terrestrial load reduction calculated in the project and prevent pollution loads at priority sources in order to improve and sustain the health of the Marmara Sea ecosystem today and in the future.

Contact: 

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Barış Salihoğlu (baris@ims.metu.edu.tr)

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mustafa Yücel (muyucel@metu.edu.tr)

National integrated pollution monitoring project

Aim of project

To monitor physical, biological and chemical parameters in Turkey’s seas and determine organic and inorganic pollutants in coastal sediment and biota samples in order to evaluate long term trend analysis under standardized methods

The Problem

The lack of long term data under standard methods

Methodology

Two times a year (winter and summer) samples are taken by Bilim-2 research vessel and analyzed in different laboratories

Expected impact

To set up long term multiparameter ecological assessment tools for seas

Project partners

  • Republic of Turkey Ministry of Environment and Urbanization
  • TUBITAK-MAM 

Contact:

Prof. Dr. Süleyman Tuğrul (tugrul@ims.metu.edu.tr)