Planned tasks

The project contains three work packages.

WP1 - methodology and technology development

  • Development of new and improved marine geophysical techniques, with emphasis on the acquisition (sources/ receivers), processing and interpretation of high quality data.
  • Efficient archaeological seabed evaluation of the proximal coastal zone and land-sea transition areas using (1) innovative techniques based on S-waves and surface waves, and (2) new 3D LiDAR techniques.
  • Development of a new and specific spatial data infrastructure (SDI) that permits the optimal integration and visualization of archaeological and geological/geophysical data in a user friendly way.
  • Set up of a flexible, generic survey methodology that allows efficient and accurate assessment of the archaeological potential of the seafloor and sub-seafloor.

WP2 - development of management policy and legal framework

  • Development of an approach to sustainably manage underwater heritage, based on the newly developed survey methodology, both for identified archaeological sites as well as areas where no archaeological information is available.
  • Elaborate development of legislation to improve existing regulations regarding the management and protection of underwater heritage in the Belgium sector of the North Sea, taking into account all international legal obligations and treaties.
  • Incorporation of underwater heritage in marine spatial planning processes and integrated coastal management in Belgium, with the use of methods that minimize possible damage to underwater heritage as a result of marine work.

WP3 - guidance and awareness

  • Draft practical recommendations (‘best practice’) for the commercial industry and government agencies involved in marine activities. This includes providing them with advice and procedures for all phases of development and exploitation.
  • Draft practical manual for the identification, reporting and processing of archaeological objects found at sea.
  • Optimal communication and collaboration with stakeholders via website, conferences, workshops, brochures...
  • Enhancement of the knowledge of underwater heritage, in particular via the media.