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Application of integrated sea-bottom exploration by hydro-acoustic methods: Forecast of marine aggregates resources in Lithuania


The strategic objective of the project is to promote and adapt the state-of-the-art non-invasive hydro-acoustic marine floor research methods through the example of their implementation for marine sand aggregates exploration for beach nourishment purposes on strongly eroding East Baltic Sea coast. Progress in acoustic methods ensures good recognition and classification of the sea bottom surface and seabed morphology as well as its geological structure. Modern hydro-acoustic methods together with precise positioning system provide possibility of constant digital registration of the sea bottom development due to human impact or natural processes. Such approach allows predicting the sediment dynamics changes in the near-shore zone and evaluate coast development and possible erosion threat, which is extremely important for the actual and future costal management. The interpretations based on the physical seabed sampling determined that the major part of the seabed surface remains unrecognised but specified only by the means of interpolation. Modern acoustic equipment ensures complete seafloor covering and therefore maximum accurate and realistic results can be obtained.

The original idea of the research project is to recognize and map the old (drowned) beach sediments of the offshore zone and evaluate their suitability for the actual beach nourishment activities. The complex geological history of the Baltic Sea has determined, that the prospecting of marine aggregates suitable for the beach protection/replenishment works is rather complicated business. During water level changes and shoreline migrations in Late Glacial and Early Holocene Pleistocene sediments were eroded and re-deposited. Namely former beach sediments should be studied as the 1st rank potential source material for the actual beach protection activities and actual beach replenishment works.

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H. Manto 84

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