Liège, University Campus, May 4-8 2009

Science-based management of the coastal waters

Terms of reference

The strategic importance of coastal zones is huge. They accommodate indeed more than 60 % of the world’s population, provide major sources of food and raw materials, form a vital link for transport and trade, support an intense economic activity, offer recreational opportunities and support countless unique ecosystems. Most coastal zones suffer however from frequent conflicts between these uses. The global change perspective raises also specific issues. All major national and international environmental agencies have therefore set up programmes to support the Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM).

Many contaminants (metals, xenobiotics, nutrients, …) are brought to the river surface waters and ground waters. A significant but largely unknown part of the contaminants finally reaches the estuary and affects the coastal waters, often beyond the limits of territorial waters. The whole aquatic continuum, stretching well over the political and administrative units, must therefore be considered when assessing the impact of pollution problems and the efficiency of mitigation plans. Coastal erosion/siltation is also influenced by a combination of local small scale processes and large scale marine dynamics. Appropriate modelling and observation techniques are therefore required to describe the wide range of relevant length and time scales.

There is an urgent need to increase the scientific knowledge needed to support the implementation of local legislations and policies (like the EU Water Framework Directive and the Marine Strategy Directive), to assess the impact of different scenarios of coastal activities, to support management decisions and to promote sustainable use of coastal resources. The development of appropriate tools and methods is however a particularly complex task. While major changes of aquatic ecosystems are clearly related to the human activity (growing population, urbanisation, industrial activity, intensive farming), the direct link between the pressures and the ecological changes is much more difficult to understand and quantify. The highly dynamic nature of the coastal zone and the interplay between terrestrial and marine processes add to the complexity. The natural variability of the system superimposes also on the impact of human pressures. The assessment of the functioning of coastal systems and their response requires therefore that the inter-related biological, physical, chemical and socio-economical aspects be taken into account, fostering the collaboration of a large number of specialists in interdisciplinary networks.

In this framework, the 41st International Liege Colloquium on Ocean Dynamics will provide a forum to present and discuss recent scientific advances in the field of Integrated Coastal Zone Management, to compare the modelling and experimental approaches set up in various case studies and to identify the need for future developments. The emphasis will be particularly put on the understanding of the dynamics of coastal waters and on the development of appropriate tools and methodologies to address the issues of

  • coastal oceanography;
  • prevention and mitigation of coastal hazards and pollution (including coastal eutrophication);
  • long term geomorphological changes;
  • global changes in the coastal zone (including downscaling issues);
  • operational oceanography and monitoring systems;
  • social and economic aspects of ICZM multifunctionality and evaluation.


Scientific organizing committee

  • A. Barth, Université de Liège, Belgium
  • J. Berlamont, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
  • B. von Bodungen, Baltic Sea Research Institute-Warnemünde, Germany
  • F. Colijn, GKSS Forschungszentrum Geestacht Gmbh, Germany
  • E. Deleersnijder, Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium
  • E. Delhez, Université de Liège, Belgium
  • F. Elbaz-Poulichet, CNRS-Universités Montpellier I & II IRD, France
  • P. Garreau, IFREMER, France.
  • P. Herman, Netherlands Institute of Ecology, The Netherlands
  • M. Kingsford, James Cook University, Australia
  • Ch. Lancelot, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
  • J.C.J. Nihoul, University of Liège, Belgium
  • C. Nittrouer, University of Washington, USA
  • E. Ozhan, Middle East Technical University, Turkey
  • R. Periañez, University of Sevilla, Spain
  • N. Pinardi, University of Bologna, Italy
  • P. Regnier, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
  • A. Souza, Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory, UK
  • A. Tappin, University of Plymouth, UK
  • T. Yanagi, Kyushu University, Japan


Scientific Program

The scientific program is available here.

The list of all participants is also available.

Proceedings and instructions to authors

The proceedings of the 41st International Liege Colloquium on Ocean Dynamics will be published as a special issue of the Journal of Marine Systems. Speakers who want to contribute a paper are invited to send a preliminary title of their paper by the 15th of July 2009 to The deadline for the submission of the full manuscript is the 15th of September 2009. Only those papers presented orally or as a poster will be considered for publication.

You can read the author instructions on the following web link: