Numerical modeling has become an important tool in the environmental sciences. Modeling can be used to integrate observations and interpolate these data in the spatial and temporal dimension. However, modeling can also be used for forecasting and “what-if” predictions.
Modeling in transitional areas such as lagoons and coastal zone show big differences with respect to the open sea. The strong influence of land based inputs, the relative importance of sediments and the atmosphere, and men made influences to the water bodies distinguish these areas from open waters and ask for different techniques in modeling. Especially the use of unstructured numerical grids allows a faithful reproduction of the spatial complexity found in the transitional areas.
Integration of different models is needed to describe the complexity of processes that are occurring in lagoons and the coastal zone. Special attention must be dedicated to make these models work smoothly together.
The modeling group of the Marine Research Institute has been created in order to apply new modeling techniques to the Lithuanian coastal waters and, especially, to the Curonian Lagoon, a water body that combines many of the abovementioned processes and makes modeling an extremely challenging task.
In particular, the modeling group of the Marine Research Institute has the following objectives:
- Create excellence in the field of numerical modeling of the coastal zone and transitional waters for Lithuania
- Train and educate students and researchers in the development, application and interpretation of numerical model and their results
- Integrate the knowledge from other groups into a comprehensive model of the Curonian Lagoon that can be used by other researchers
- Bring together modelers and non-modelers and show the advantage of using models that can help the interpretation of observations and supplement them with other useful data
- Bring together scientists from different areas (physics, biology, chemistry) to build a modeling framework of the Curonian Lagoon that flows the parameters from source (drainage basin of the Nemunas) to sink (Baltic Sea)
- Create a framework of models that will be able to compute, forecast and predict important parameters, also as a tool for identification of pollution and environmental impact
Dr. Hans Georg Umgiesser
Dr. Artūras Razinkovas-Baziukas
Dr. Petras Zemlys
Dr. Rasa Morkūnė
Dr. Ali Ertürk
Dr. Natalja Čerkasova