Increasing confidence in the veracity of DCPM is the ultimate aim of this research. The individual aims of the project are as follows:

  • The primary aim of this project is to benchmark DCPM against MSN_WQ to establish the strengths of each model. This process of benchmarking is vital in order to build confidence in the capabilities of DCPM in advance of the widespread application of the model to transitional waters in preparation for the 2nd cycle of river basin management planning in Ireland.
  • A number of measures will be taken to improve the suitability of DCPM to Irish waters such as considering the influence of residence time and nutrient release from sediment. By subdividing water bodies on the basis of residence time and applying DCPM to the adjoining segments of the water body, DCPM results will be generated at a higher spatial resolution.
  • To facilitate benchmarking, the MSN_WQ model will be modified to incorporate macroalgae growth alongside phytoplankton growth to comprehensively describe the consequences of eutrophication.
  • The nutrient load reductions required to restore receiving waters to good environmental status will be specified for three transitional-coastal systems where opportunistic macroalgae presents a recurrent threat to good environmental status.
  • Previous research into the quantification of nutrient release from sediment will be incorporated into the DCPM model, thus enhancing the applicability of the model to Irish waters and the authenticity of nutrient load estimates.