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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. Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee (VLIZ): Oostende. xiii, 221 pp., more
Related to:
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

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Document type: Summary

Keywords
    Aquatic sciences > Marine sciences > Ecology > Marine ecology
    Environments > Aquatic environment > Marine environment
    Man-induced effects
    Ocean floor
    Temporal variations > Long-term changes > Sea level changes
    Marine/Coastal

Authors  Top 
  • Francken, F., more
  • Van den Eynde, D., more
  • Monbaliu, J., more
  • Toorman, E., 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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