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Field Tests


Gironde Estuary – France, 15th to 24th June 2017

Multi-channel trace metal and algae sensing modules

Biogeochemical research on the estuarine ecosystem of the Gironde is societally motivated by the persistence of multi-metal pollution affecting a real shellfish economic potential. The Gironde Estuary is a meso/macro-tidal ecosystem characterised by high turbidity (greater than 1g/L suspended particulate matter in the maximum turbidity zone) and salinity gradients. The SCHeMA-VI-2017 field campaign on-board of the R/V Thalia aimed to i) test the SCHeMA integrated multi-channel trace metal and algae sensing systems in the salinity and turbidity gradients varying with the tide; ii) apply these new tools to the in situ detection of the bioavailable fractions of the SCHeMA targeted trace metals (Cd, Cu, Pb, Zn, As) and various types of algae, including cyanobacteria; iii) couple in situ data with results from complementary analyses in collected samples to evaluate net fluxes of dissolved Cd and Cu in view of the ongoing remediation in the source area (Decazeville; 2007-2016) and to obtain new data on speciation, concentrations and fluxes of other metals (e.g. As, Pb, Zn, Te, Sb, Pt).

The main two activities successfully achieved were (i) the acquisition of the longitudinal profiles of the various parameters along the salinity/turbidity gradients (22 stations) and (ii) a 30 hours cycle of continuous in situ monitoring and high-frequency sampling at a site located in the estuary mouth. Partners UBx, UNIGE and TUGRAZ were involved in these activities.


Arcachon Bay, SW France, 14th to 19th May 2017

Individual and integrated in situ chemical mapping systems: simultaneous measurements of nutrients, trace metals, specific algae groups, master bio-physicochemical parameters

Sampling and ex situ analysis: sensors evaluation and validation; complementary measurements

During the second field campaign in the Arcachon Bay onboard the R/V Planula IV, a suite of submersible sensing probes developed by the SCHeMA project were deployed, namely: the integrated three-channel trace metal sensing module (TMSM), the miniaturized multi-wavelength algae sensing module (ASM); the nutrient sensing module (NSM), and the carbon species sensing module (CSM). The SCHeMA Network Controller was active allowing wireless bi-directional communication between the interfaced sensing modules and the SCHeMA web-based information system. For inter-comparison purpose, samples were collected in parallel to the in situ measurements for subsequent ex situ analysis using laboratory based techniques. Performance of a portable analyzer developed as part of SCHeMA for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) detection was also tested at the Arcachon Marine Station laboratory. UBx, UNIGE, TUGRAZ, UNIGe-IT, UULM were involved in these activities.

The temporal and spatial in situ measurements performed simultaneously with the SCHeMA sensing modules coupled to commercial multiparameter probes allowed for the acquisition of a range of new relevant environmental data revealing interesting bio-geochemical trends. Potential end-users were invited on-board on two different days, giving them the opportunity to see the SCHeMA sensing probes operating in real field conditions. For more information see the Demonstration day page here.

SCHeMA-IV-2017 Sampling Campaign by R/V MASO Boat

Genoa Harbour, Italy, 3rd and 4th April 2017

SCHeMA individual sensing modules

During the last week of the long field test (April 3rd and 4th) a sampling campaign was carried out inside and outside the Genoa harbor by R/V MASO boat to use the single SCHeMA sensors and modules (Trace Metal probe - TMSM, Arsenic V sensor, and Carbonates probe – NCSM) in contrasting environmental conditions. Twelve sampling stations have been investigated during the cruise in order to test the modules in unpolluted and different polluted areas (pollution from sewage discharge, creeks and different activities hosts in the Genoa Harbur). Validation measurements have been guaranteed by UNIGe-IT and UBX researchers. A brief overview of the cruise is available at http://www.arco89.com/2017/04/03/the-schema-project/.


Genoa Harbour, Italy, January 14th to April 10th

SCHeMA submersible probe

The first SCHeMA long test field started on 18th January 2017 and ended the 10th April 2017. The SCHeMA integrated system was deployed in the Genoa harbour at the CNR Station sampling platform and it continuously collected data inside the harbour with its three operational modules: standard Idronaut CTD probe, Trace Metal probe (TMSM) and Carbonates/Algae (NCSM and Algae) probe in order to test long term stability tests for instance. Validation measurements have been guaranteed by UNIGe-IT researchers. Each module had different life time and needed different maintenance procedures. This long term test helped to highlight still problematic aspects allowing the research groups to improve the sensors and the integrated modules. The SCHeMA integrated system plug-and-play integration was performed via the SCHeMA Network Controller (through wifi connection), thus the real time data were immediately available through the SCHeMA data portal.

The University of Genoa partners took care of the preparation and maintenance of the SCHeMA integrated system during the long field test, in collaboration with the other partners (namely UNIGE, TUGRAZ, ETT, Idronaut). The long test period was also useful to show the SCHeMA project and probes to students of the University of Genoa (Environmental Science). The last week (April 1st – 6th) the CNR station hosted SCHeMA researchers (from UNIGE, UBX and UNIGe-IT) for a dedicated test of the moored integrated system with contemporary validation measures.


Plentzia Marine Station, Basque Country, 14th to June, 16th

SCHeMA submersible probe

The SCHeMA summer school took place from 14th to 16th June 2016. This summer school allowed the demonstration of the different sensors and sensing individual probes developed in the frame of the project. Furthermore, it allowed the deployment of a first SCHeMA integrated chemical sensing system in a seawater mesoscosm. Their plug-and-play integration was performed via the SCHeMA NC, which also acts as gateway for the bi-directional communication between the SCHeMA web server and the deployed chemical mapping probes. For more information click here


Ligurian Sea, Mediterranean, Italy April, 19th to April, 21st

SCHeMA individual sensing modules

The Genoa Harbour is an artificial harbour on the North-West coast of Italy. It is one of the major ports of the Mediterranean Sea, with a wide range of different activities. Port infrastructures extend over approximately 7 million square meters along about 20 km of coastline, protected by breakwaters. Industrial effluents have been the major cause of water pollution in Genoa Harbour for many years, since the main heavy industries adjacent to the harbour have been closed during the nineties. Today the discharges from the sewage screening plants and from the creeks have led to a general elevation of nutrients, organic matter and faecal pollution in the harbour waters. 

Knowing the environmental pollution characterising the Genoa Harbour, this sampling site was selected to perform the SCHeMA-II-2016 field campaign that aimed at testing three newly SCHeMA individual sensing modules, namely: the three channel trace metal sensing module (TMSM), the multi-wavelength algae detection module and the nutrient module. Another objective was to test the bi-directional control of the TMSM via the SCHeMA Network controller (NC). This field test took place in April 19th and 20th 2016. Following the sampling scheme of the first sampling campaign held in the Arcachon Bay, a diurnal cycle of 25 hours was performed. During this cycle, several parameters were acquired and measured and seawater samples were collected each hour in order to realise complementary measurements (same parameters as for the SCHeMA-I-2015 field campaign). Complementary measurements are still in process and some parameters remain to be analysed


Arcachon Bay, SW France April, 18th to April, 25th

Trace metal sensors (Cd, Cu, Zn, Pb, and As)

The Arcachon Bay is one of Europe’s most important oyster production zone. However, the Arcachon Bay suffers from constantly growing pollution of its waters since some years (in particular Cu and As pollution as well as abnormal proliferation of green algae). This first SCHeMA short-term field campaign, took place from April 19th to April 24th and allow the evaluation of one sensor developed during the first year of the project, namely: the gold nanoparticle based GIME sensor (AuNP-GIME) for direct detection of As(III). 

This sampling campaign took place on-board the R/V Planula IV. SCHeMA partners from UNIGE responsible for the analytical development of the sensors were present as well as UBx partners responsible for field application. The crucial point of the field campaign consisted in a 36 hours cycle sampling and analysis. During this cycle, in situ measurements of As(III) species (most toxic arsenic species) and dynamic fractions (i.e. fraction potentially bio-available) of Cu, Cd, Pb and Zn were performed at high resolution (1h or half hour time intervals) using respectively the newly developed AuNP-GIME and the previously developed GIME sensor and VIP probe. Master variables (T, dissolved oxygen, pH, conductivity, salinity, turbidity, chlorophyll-a, and phycocyanin) were also measured simultaneously using an OS316 Idronaut submersible probe.