BOF Phd Beurs Jenna Vergeynst

Anthropogenic hydraulic structures such as pumping stations, weirs or hydropower plants play a crucial role in water quantity management. They allow to prevent flooding and to optimally benefit from ecosystem services such as hydropower. Climate change has emphasized the increasing importance of flood control and sustainable energy production, and thus of these anthropogenic structures. However, despite their obvious benefits, these structures may severely impact the aquatic ecosystems and freshwater fish in particular. Specifically, they create a barrier for upstream and downstream migration of fish species, significantly alter the physical habitat and even wound fish during passage. European eel and Atlantic salmon are two indicative species being currently under pressure. Both species have a downstream migrating phase in their lifecycle, during which they are hampered by hydraulic structures. In this project, the migration routes and behaviour of these species near the sluices, pumps and turbines of the hydropower station in the Albert channel will be investigated by means of rigorous monitoring and modelling. Fundamental knowledge on fish behaviour in relation to hydraulic conditions in these structures will be developed in order to determine the preferred and disturbing conditions to fish migration. This knowledge is necessary to adapt existing structures or construct new structures in a fish-friendly manner.

Project duration: 2015-12-07 - 2019-12-06

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Jenna Vergeynst
Department of Applied Mathematics, Biometrics and Process Control


Last update: 01 december 2008,

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