Estuaries are one of the most productive types of ecosystems on Earth and are of considerable value to both humans and wildlife. Despite extensive research efforts during past decades, the preservation of these systems demands a greater knowledge and understanding of the complex physical and biological mechanisms that control their health. In particular, multi-year in situ observations are desirable for investigating the various agents that drive their ecology and hydrodynamics. Monitoring activities performed by CIMA at the largest Estuary in South Portugal include:
Morphology of the ebb delta: Yearly bathymetry are performed to map the highly dynamic ebb delta of the Guadiana Estuary;
Water quality and current velocity: Since March 2008, the SIMPATICO monitoring station provides continuous observations at the lower Estuary;
Environmental drivers: a regular monitoring program in the Guadiana estuary was conducted from 1996 to 2010, focusing on phytoplankton composition, abundance and biomass, nutrient and light availability.