UNEPNOWPAP CEARAC

Eutrophication

What is Eutrophication ?

Eutrophication is a phenomenon in which conditions of certain water bodies such as seas, lakes and rivers change from being oligotrophic to eutrophic. Originally, this term explains a natural process occurring in ponds and lakes by non-periodic changes of biotic communities under certain environmental conditions; oligotrophic water with low nutrient concentration and low production activities by few plankton and fish changes to being eutrophic with high nutrient concentration and high production activities. However, recently this term has been used more often to indicate increase of nutrient inputs to water bodies by anthropogenic activities. Sewage, runoffs from agriculture and livestock industries, and industrial waste water are considered as causes of this type of eutrophication.

Past activities of CEARAC against eutrophication
in NOWPAP

I. Development of procedures for assessment of Eutrophication status including evaluation of land based sources of nutrients for the NOWPAP Region (2008-2009)

As a joint activity of WG3 and WG4, "Procedures for assessment of eutrophication status including evaluation of land based sources of nutrients for the NOWPAP region (NOWPAP Common Procedure)" were be developed by utilizing RS techniques.

II. Assessment of eutrophication status in selected sea areas in the NOWPAP member states (2010-2011)

As one of CEARAC activities from 2010 to 2011, case studies to evaluate suitability of the NOWPAP Common Procedures were conducted in selected sea area in the NOWPAP member states. The following areas were nominated by CEARAC Focal Points to conduct this case study.

  • Changjiang (Yangtze) River estuary and its adjacent area, China,
  • Northwest Kyushu sea area, Japan
  • Toyama Bay, Japan
  • Jinahe Bay, Korea
  • Peter the Great Bay, Russia

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A integrated report summarizing the above case studies are available from the following link.

Case Study Reports on Assessment of Eutrophication Status in selected sea areas are available from the following links.

On going activities of CEARAC against eutrophication
in NOWPAP

Case studies conducted from 2010 to 2011 illustrated status and mechanism of eutrophication in each selected sea area by the six eutrophication classifications suggested by the NOWPAP Common Procedure, areas for case studies are geographically limited to assess eutrophication status of the whole NOWPAP region. The Integrated Report also suggested necessity to improve suitability of the NOWPAP Common Procedure to assess eutrophication status of the whole NOWPAP region, in terms of harmonizing assessment data and their reference values, adjusting algorithms of satellite derived Chl-a, particularly in turbid coastal waters, including data on atmospheric deposition of nutrients, particularly nitrogen, conducting more case studies and expanding the assessment area to include the open sea.
Following these suggestions, an activity to refine the NOWPAP Common Procedure was proposed to NOWPAP member states and approved at the 16th NOWPAP inter governmental meeting. From 2012 to 2013, CEARAC will refine the Common Procedure and apply the refined Common Procedures to the existing selected sea areas and newly selected sea area.

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