The “river inputs” challenge aims to:

  • Give an overview on the temporal and spatial variability of riverine mass, material fluxes and eels distributions in the Black Sea
  • A better understanding of the peculiarities of the Black Sea ecosystems in terms of the strong climatic, geomorphological and cultural contrasts that characterize the Black Sea drainage basin.
  • Identification of major trends that could threat these ecosystems in the near future because of climate change and socioeconomic development.
  • Identification of major data and knowledge gaps which have to be solved by future research efforts in order to assess the potential impact of global change in the Black Sea region via the riverine fluxes.



The workflow is made of three major activities:

Activity 1: to search for upstream data to meet challenge requirements

  • River discharge
  • Water temperature
  • Total Suspended Sediments (TSS)
  • Nitrates/ Total Nitrogen
  • Phosphates/ Total Phosphorous
  • Salmon and eels

Activity 2: to build and analyze data base, produce challenge outputs for GIS use

Activity 3: to deliver checkpoint information, and report assessment in results in the Literature Survey and Data Adequacy Reports.


Team involved 


Data processing

  • Which input information is looked for, discoverable 

The Challenge will collate data on riverine inputs to the Black Sea from all these data bases. The target river flux parameters and biological information are:

  1. water discharge;
  2. river water temperature;
  3. total suspended sediments (TSS);
  4. nitrates/ total nitrogen;
  5. phosphates/ total phosphorous;
  6. eels.

As far as observations are concerned, the reference units will be individual rivers and their corresponding drainage basins. Due to gaps in data availability, time series for river fluxes will cover.

Data sets are available from different sources :

  1. Cited in peer reviewed paper or grey literature but no info on how to access;
  2. Information retrieved upon specific request to the data source;
  3. Use of open search engines, searching by name either the data provider or the characteristics;
  4. Search via reference catalogue (e.g. MyOcean, Emodnet, Giovanni NASA, JRC etc..)


  • Are data sets accessible ?

The Challenge will provide information on the data availability in a standardized way plus terms of access and use.

Several datasets are accessible for the Black Sea. Synthetically they are :

  1. GDRC (Global Runoff Data Centre) data base;
  2. The RivDIS (Global River Discharge) database, UNESCO;
  3. EMODnet Chemistry if data are near the river mouths;
  4. EWA (European Water Archive);
  5. The Water Information System for Europe (WISE) database;
  6. World River Sediment Yields Database of FAO;
  7. MyOcean ocean color Thematic Assembly Center.

Browse Data Source

  • How appropriate for use are the data ?

The Challenge will provide information on the data appropriateness in standardized way plus descriptive text of strengths and weakness regarding the appropriateness of upstream data used. It will include a rationale for non selection of unused input data.


Targeted products

The River Inputs Challenge will estimate for each river bordering the sea basin, a time series of annual inputs of fresh water, sediment loading, pollution and biota to sea:

  • water (mass and average temperature)
  • sediments
  • nitrates and phosphates
  • salmon and eels (both inwards and outwards)