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Changes in the marine environment: the Belgian part of the North Sea revisited
Van Lancker, V.; Du Four, I.; Degraer, S.; Fettweis, M.; Francken, F.; Van den Eynde, D.; Monbaliu, J.; Toorman, E.; Verwaest, T.; Janssens, J.; Vincx, M.; Houziaux, J.-S. (2009). Changes in the marine environment: the Belgian part of the North Sea revisited, in: Mees, J. et al. (Ed.) Book of abstracts: an overview of marine research in Belgium anno 2009. 10th VLIZ Young Scientists' Day. Special edition at the occasion of 10 years VLIZ. VLIZ Special Publication, 43
In: Mees, J.; Seys, J. (Ed.) (2009). Book of abstracts: an overview of marine research in Belgium anno 2009. 10th VLIZ Young Scientists' Day. Special edition at the occasion of 10 years VLIZ. VLIZ Special Publication, 43. Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee (VLIZ): Oostende. xiii, 221 pp., more
In: VLIZ Special Publication. Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee (VLIZ): Oostende. ISSN 1377-0950, more

Also published as
  • Van Lancker, V.; Du Four, I.; Degraer, S.; Fettweis, M.; Francken, F.; Van den Eynde, D.; Monbaliu, J.; Toorman, E.; Verwaest, T.; Janssens, J.; Vincx, M.; Houziaux, J.-S. (2009). Changes in the marine environment: the Belgian part of the North Sea revisited, in: 41st International Liège Colloquium on Ocean Dynamics: Science-Based Management of the Coastal Waters, 4-8 May 2009. pp. [1], more

Available in Authors 
Document type: Summary

Keywords
    Man-induced effects; Marine ecology; Marine environment; Ocean floor; Sea level changes; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Van Lancker, V., more
  • Du Four, I., more
  • Degraer, S., more
  • Fettweis, M., more
  • Francken, F., more
  • Van den Eynde, D., more

Abstract
    Sustainable development requires the quantification of human impacts, against the seafloor’s ecological value. Recent impact studies have shown localised effects only, though indications of a longer-term and broader-scale degradation of the seafloor exist. This is due possibly to cumulative anthropogenically-induced effects, but the natural evolution and the response of the seafloor due to sea-level rise are poorly known. Such evolution needs to be disentangled against the impact of dredging, aggregate extraction, fisheries and beach replenishment.

    Naturally-, as well as anthropogenically-induced sediment dynamics are studied in detail along the Belgian part of the North Sea [Van Lancker et al., 2008]. State-of-the-art observations/sampling, advanced modelling, as well as analyses of long-term datasets on sediment nature and dynamics, geomorphology and macrobenthos are carried out. Additionally, integrated sand/mud models and dynamically coupled current/wave models are being developed, with boundary conditions generated from models focusing on the Scheldt estuary and on the coast. A historic reference framework has been set-up, based on a sediment and macrobenthos dataset of 100 yrs ago [Gilson dataset, van Loen & Houziaux, 2002]. In representative areas, erosion/sedimentation patterns and rates are quantified and balanced against the occurrence and intensity of human activities.

    Results are integrated in the view of developing criteria, monitoring strategies and recommendations for a more sustainable exploitation/management of the EEZ. Particularly, the allocation of efficient dumping grounds, large-scale aggregate extraction and sustainable coastal protection schemes are being considered, also in the perspective of future sea-level rise scenarios.

    REFERENCES

    Van Lancker, V., Du Four, I., Fettweis, M., Van den Eynde, D., Devolder, M., Francken, F., Monbaliu, J., Verwaest, T., Janssens, J., Degraer, S., Houziaux, J.-S., Vandenberghe, N., Goffin, A., 2008. QUantification of Erosion/Sedimentation patterns to Trace the natural versus anthropogenic sediment dynamics (QUEST4D). Annual Scientific Report Year 1. Science for Sustainable Development. Belgian Science Policy: Brussels, Belgium. 27 pp.

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