Using remote sensing to enhance modelling of fine sediment dynamics in the Dutch coastal zone

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Modelling fine sediment dynamics, including transport, deposition and re-suspension, is very complex. This led to studies that validate the modelled suspended particulate matter (SPM) based on in-situ measurements. While in-situ measurements are often sparse in time and space, satellite measurements provide us with higher spatial and temporal resolution. This information can be used to validate and enhance the model's capability of predicting the spatial and temporal distribution of SPM. In this paper, the SPM retrieved from the MEdium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) on board European Space Agency's ENVISAT spacecraft is used to carry out a thorough calibration and validation of the SPM description provided by the Delft3DWAQ model of the Southern North Sea for the year 2007. In an uncertainty analysis framework, the key model parameters affecting the SPM distributions were first identified in predefined physical regions. The sensitivity of the model to slight changes in those parameters is tested and the spatial and temporal errors compared to remote sensing images were identified and a new set of parameters has been suggested and further subjected to uncertainty to define prediction intervals of the SPM distribution at a number of locations. The so-called adapted model has been validated against independent data and has shown a decrease in errors, particularly along the Dutch coast.

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