Development and application of an eco-hydrologic model for the flood areas of the Tisza river, in support of the EC 5th Framework project 'The Tisza river'

Project Details


The present project proposal is intended as a matching fund for the development of a local scale integrated ecohydrological model for the assessment of the state of the unique European riparian wetland (mostly oxbow lakes) ecosystems of the Tisza river. The main goal is to revitalize the riparian wetlands and aid simultaneously the meeting of other water demands, such as flood control, excess-water drainage, agricultural water uses, fisheries, recreation and landscape protection. The model will be used to test management scenarios that will encourage the ecological maintenance or improvement of the wetlands, while contributing to flood control and water quality improvement both in the wetlands and the main river.In the EC 5th Framework Tisza project a field campaign is planned for a detailed hydrological and ecological survey of three oxbow lakes. This will be performed by partner 1 (VITUKI) and partner 10 (IECB). During these measuring campaigns the biodiversity of the aquatic vegetation of selected types of backwaters in the fluvial corridor, and structural types of riparian wetland ecotones of different ecological value will be assessed. All data will be used for GIS overlay with remote sensing data to classify and qualify wetland parts to serve the assessment of ecological status and the needs of the hydrological models for environmental relationships. In the flood plain also aquatic/terrestrial (riparian) ecotones and terrestrial/terrestrial ecotones (e.g. woods/flood plain meadows) will be surveyed, classified and quantified from high resolution RS sources and by field survey. In combination with these field observations, HYDR would like to develop an ecohydrological model as a tool for the analyses and interpretation of the field observations. The model will be set-up by a finite volume approach, whereby all structural elements in the wetlands will be represented by computational cells, linked by water and mass transfers as for surface water as groundwater interactions. The model will be calibrated with the field data, and subsequently used for further analysis and evaluation of the ecohydrological processes in the wetlands. In particular the model intends to: · Enable a full analyses of the present ecological and hydrological state of the wetlands of the Tisza river and identify the main management issues and monitoring tasks.· Develop a methodological framework to describe and quantify flow paths of water, sediments, nutrients and pollutants through the surficial ecohydrological system of different temporal and spatial scales under different climatic and geographic conditions.· Develop an integrated approach for managing the eco-hydrological environment including the non-structural measures.· Predict flows and mass fluxes in the immediate locality of the wetlands in such a way as to promote the sustainability of the wetland ecosystems.· To predict and make use of the assimilative and self-purifying ability of these ecosystems (by improving their resistance and resilience) to improve the quality of the entire water system.· Set up a proposal for an action plan for the hydrological and ecological (e.g. ecohydrological) management of the entire system of oxbow lakes.With this approach the roles and functions of the aquatic and riparian (wetland) ecosystems will be strengthened by appropriate hydrological management means. In doing so the social, economic and landscape values of these wetlands will also be assessed for finding the best management approach of governing flows and mass fluxes that suits the needs of both man and nature. More specifically this will be a real integrated management (and modelling) approach in which the management objectives and tools of wetland ecosystem revitalisation, will (where appropriate) serve at the same time for other water- and environmental management and social purposes as well. These other purposes include water quality improvement, flood control, excess-inland water drainage, irrigation, non-point source load control, fisheries, landscape protection and recreational water uses.
Effective start/end date1/01/0331/12/05


  • hydrology
  • Water managemen
  • ecohydrology

Flemish discipline codes 2018-2023

  • Civil and building engineering
  • Earth sciences


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