|Aggregate resources and extraction in the Baltic Sea: an introduction|
Schwarzer, K. (2010). Aggregate resources and extraction in the Baltic Sea: an introduction. J. Coast. Res. SI 51: 165-172
In: Journal of Coastal Research. Coastal Education and Research Foundation: Fort Lauderdale. ISSN 0749-0208, more
Baltic Sea; sand and gravel extraction; aggregate resources; Holocene coastal evolution
There is no water body within the European Union which is surrounded by more countries than the Baltic Sea; likewise no water-body is more diverse regarding geological, environmental and ecological conditions. In response to postglacial development, there is isostatic uplift in the northern part of the Baltic Sea with rates of up to 9 mm/ year; the southern part is sinking, at rates up to 2 mm/year. Crystalline rocks in the area of uplift and soft glacial and postglacial deposits in the area of sinking result in erosion and coastal retreat along the southern Baltic Sea coastline, whilst the northern countries are gaining land. Additionally, the marine resources of raw materials such as sand, gravel and stones are of limited extent and volume in the most south-westerly and southerly part of the Baltic Sea, due to the late glacial and Holocene development. Such conditions, combined with the predicted sea level rise, will lead to an increasing demand of aggregate resources in the future due to a higher demand for shore protection measures, as ”soft” solutions like beach and dune nourishment are favoured in many countries. At the same time, restrictions due to EU and national directives are increasing, limiting the number of resources which can be used. This introduction gives both, an overview about the environmental conditions of the Baltic Sea which are controlling the availability of sand and gravel resources and as well a short summary about the exploitation and use of sand and gravel in the countries surrounding the Baltic Sea.