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

Final Activity Report Summary - ISEMAR (Application of Integrated Sea-Bottom Exploration by Hydro-acoustic Methods: Forecast of Marine Aggregates Resources in Lithuania)

The strategic objective of the three year duration project is to promote and adapt the state-of-the-art non-invasive hydro-acoustic marine floor research methods for marine sand aggregates exploration and beach nourishment purposes on strongly eroding South-East Baltic Sea coast, Lithuania.

The main aims of the research project:
- to promote the hydro-acoustic investigations in Lithuanian marine investigations;
- map the morphology and lithology if the seabed;
- marine aggregates forecast and exploration for the beach nourishment;
- pre-evaluation of sediment dynamics and volumetric balance changes in the near-shore zone;
- adapt the existing European regulations of marine aggregate extraction in Lithuania;

Achieved results for the first research period (April 2006 - March 2007):

The wide complex of the modern hydro-acoustic methods was used in the research, which includes: side scan sonar (acoustic picture of the seafloor), multi and single beam echo-sounders (accurate seabed morphology), sub-bottom profiler (shallow subbotom geology).

Four pre-defined areas for marine sand extraction were pre-prospected and preliminary maps of seabed lithology and morphology were compiled.

Two potential areas were chosen for complete investigation in order to calculate the possible amount and conditions of sand extraction and map of superficial sediments distribution, map and 3D seafloor morphology model, model of shallow sub-bottom geology were made according to hydro-acoustic survey data.

According to the quality and quantity analysis of the potential sand deposits, the technical project for beach nourishment implementation and EIA study were prepared.

The results of investigations have been presented in:
- the Baltic Sea Science Congress at the University of Rostock, 19-23 March 2007;
- the local scientific conference 'Sustainable development indicators for state of the coast evaluation', Palanga, Lithuania, 29-30 March 2007.