PPP Taiwan

Improvement of the Understanding of Hydrodynamics in Tide-Driven Estuarine Environments using Tamshui River as an Example

The overall aim of the PPP-project is – as the project title indicates – to improve the understanding of the hydrodynamics in tide-driven estuarine environments. Tamshui River in Taiwan has been chosen as an example estuary. The PPP-project is part of a larger research co-operation between NCKU and TUHH which also includes sediment transport and morphological development of estuaries (see Fig. 1). In the PPP-project field observations and numerical modelling approaches are combined to study the mechanisms that controls the tidally varying circulation and density gradient in Tamshui estuary. Tamshui river system including Dahan Creek has a total length of 159 km and a drainage area of 2,726 km2. The catchment is comparatively steep. The tidal influence spans over a total length of about 82 km.

Within the larger focus of the overall research co-operation the PPP-project is focussing on the following issues:

  1. Developing improved tools for data analysis to combine tide-, current-, and sediment-data in estuaries. In-situ data analysis experienced from both, the Taiwanese and the German side is shared in this project as basis for further detailed studies. Also, through the collaboration in the data analysis process, the data quality can be double-checked, since only good quality data leads to reliable outputs of both, numerical studies and experimental studies based on field information.
  2. Better understanding of the hydrodynamic / sediment transport in Tamshui-River as result of the related effects of fresh water discharge and tidal current through the calibration process of a newly established numerical model of Tamshui-River. The characteristics of the estuarine circulation will be found via analysing observation data and model results.
  3. The characteristic of the estuarine turbidity maximum (ETM) which is the zone of highest turbidity resulting from turbulent re-suspension of sediment and flocculation of particulate matter in an estuary, will be further investigated through in-situ measurements and the established numerical model for Tamshui-River as part of the research.
  4. The preparation of a MOST-DFG Joint Proposal (to be submitted in 2019 / 2020) will focus on the significant improvement of the knowledge and understanding of estuarine sediment dynamics.
  5. Enhancement of collaboration opportunities between Taiwan and Germany for contributing the development of scientific issues in the coastal and ocean engineering area. Scientific publications will be in form of conference proceeding and international peer reviewed journals (for example, JGR oceans, Ocean Modelling and Coastal Eng.).

Project duration: 02.01.2019 – 31.12.2020

The PPP-project is funded by: MOST-DAAD Project-Based Personnel Exchange Programme


  • Taiwan Principal Investigator (PI):
    Prof. Jia-Lin Chen

    Dept. Hydraulic and Ocean Engineering

    National Cheng Kung University (NCKU)
  • German Principal Investigator (PI):
    Prof. Dr.-Ing. Peter Fröhle

    Institute of River and Coastal Engineering

    Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH)